The president of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon said the Roman Catholic Church is the only institution that is still functioning in the war-torn Central African Republic, as he highlighted the violence that has cost thousands of lives.
“The State no longer exists. The only institution that is functioning is the Catholic Church. Actually, the displaced are living in Catholic parishes,” said His Exc. Mgr. Samuel Kleda, who is also the archbishop of Douala, according to Fides News Agency on Tuesday.
The African country, where 25 percent of the population is said to be Roman Catholic and a majority is Christian, is reportedly still plunged in chaos due to fighting between Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka fighters. Violence has escalated since interim President Michel Djotodia resigned earlier this year.
The United Nations Security Council said that is authorizing a new peacekeeping force of 10,000 soldiers and 1,800 police to try and restore order and address the conflict that has caused thousands of deaths so far.
Mgr. Kleda, who was visiting Bangui, said that he wanted to “show our solidarity with our brotherly people of the Central African Republic, and to express our friendship and communion to them, and to let them know that we are praying for them so that they should not feel abandoned at this difficult moment.”
The archbishop warned, however, that it would be “very dangerous” to “speak of sectarian war in Central Africa,” explaining that although there have been a number of Christian-Muslim clashes, the country is not facing a religious war, but what he called a “war of predation” between the Seleka rebels and the anti-Balaka militia.
SOURCE: STOYAN ZAIMOV