Amid the political chaos that has gripped the Central African Republic (CAR) since a rebel coalition captured power five months ago, the country’s Christians seem to have become a target. The government recently arrested a top evangelical leader, and armed Islamists attacked Christian villages, killing at least 15 people and displacing about 1,000.
On Aug. 6, authorities briefly arrested President of CAR’s Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Nicolas Guerékoyamé, for criticizing the government in a sermon at his church in the national capital of Bangui, LNC Media reported.
Days later, the Catholic group Aid to Church in Need reported that at least 15 people were killed and more than 1,000 rendered homeless after Islamist militia men attacked 14 Christian villages that come under the Catholic Diocese of Bouar.
The attackers were from the newly formed Séléka coalition, which overthrew the regime of President François Bozizé in a military coup in March. According to witnesses, the militants threw bodies in a river, including that of a five-month-old baby.
“These incidents highlight targeting of Christians and breakdown of law and order in the country,” WEA-RLC Executive Director Godfrey Yogarajah said.