- Jul 12, 2020
U.N. peacekeeping forces regained control of Muslim majority areas in the Central African Republic after Christian rebels had attacked them, killing dozens of civilians. Catholic leaders have failed so far in their efforts to convince parties to lay down their weapons and to work for peace.
Two Catholic missions in Central African Republic about 270 miles from the capital, Bangui, were targeted by former militants. According to the vice president of the Central African Republic bishops’ conference the violence was not motivated by religious reasons but economic ones.
Right now, geopolitical analysts and anti-terrorism experts may not see anti-Christian persecution around the world as a real security risk, in part because Christians tend not to fight back. Africa, and Nigeria in particular, illustrates that you can’t count on such forbearance enduring forever.
More than 200,000 dollars were raised by a Vatican art project for the Jubilee Year of Mercy to be given to the Bangui Pediatric Hospital in Central African Republic. Pope Francis visited the hospital in 2015 and was struck by the lack of equipment and the poor state of the children.
In recent years, thousands were killed in the Central African Republic in an ethnic cleansing and the country’s de facto partition between the Muslim northeast and Christian southwest. A new government took charge in 2016, but very few efforts have been made to promote long-lasting reconciliation.
Hundreds of people from around the world, many of them coping with jet lag from long flights, stood patiently in line on Nov. 19 waiting for their turn to greet, get a picture with or receive a blessing from their new cardinal in the Vatican’s Paul VI audience hall.