The violence against Christians in Africa continues to escalate.
Last week in Central African Republic (CAR), Islamists murdered 30 Christians inside of their church where they were hiding from the violence between rebel groups on the streets.
A priest in Central African Republic says at least 30 people have been killed after suspected Muslim rebels attacked a church where Christians were seeking refuge.
The Rev. Paul Emile Nzale told The Associated Press that the gunfire and grenade attack took place Wednesday afternoon in a displacement camp at the Church of Fatima in Bangui, the capital.
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An Associated Press reporter counted at least 20 bodies taken to a hospital in the city because the morgue was not in service.
Another clergyman who witnessed the events gave a more detailed description of the events that took place outside the church.
“We were in the church when were heard the shooting outside,” the Rev. Freddy Mboula of Notre Dame de Fatima in Bangui told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “There were screams and after 30 minutes of gunfire there were bodies everywhere.”
Christians face very real, daily dangers living in the war torn nation of CAR – Open Doors ranks the country as 16th worst in persecuting Christians – and thousands of Christians there have moved into their local churches in hopes of finding sanctuary. Sadly, these Houses of Worship are proving not to be the places of safety that the innocent are hoping for. These bloodthirsty rebel groups seem to have no qualms with desecrating these churches and slaughtering all who seek refuge inside.
International Christian Concern’s Regional Manager for Africa, Cameron Thomas, said that the latest violence serves as an example of the ongoing “culture of reprisal” that has gripped CAR.
“As anti-balaka militias continue to commit attacks against both militants and civilians, with Séléka remnants returning such attacks in kind, innocent civilians, including Christians seeking refuge behind church walls, continue to suffer the consequences of growing sectarian violence,” Thomas said.
“The future of the Central African Republic will continue to darken so long as the international community does not take decisive action to stem the ongoing violence and bring about the necessary resolution to prevent future attacks.”
A full half of the people living in CAR are Christians and their lives hang in the balance. The government seemingly has no control, and it is far too dangerous for aid groups to operate inside the borders, so our brothers and sisters are left to fend for themselves against evil and violent men. We must continue to pray for them, we must continue to support aid groups that can help, and we must do whatever we can (however small) to support them. Call your representatives and ask them to continue to apply pressure to nations like CAR and international organizations like the United Nations to work harder to ensure the safety of the world’s persecuted Christians.
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