A Baptist leader in the Central African Republic (CAR) has requested urgent prayer from Baptists around the world on a conflict in his country.
“The situation of the Central African Republic is precarious. A rebel coalition has already grabbed several [towns] and they are at the door of the capital,” Singa-Gbazia Nicolas Aime Simplice, president of the Association of Baptist Churches of the Central African Republic, told the Baptist World Alliance (BWA).
“Their aim is to overthrow the president of the republic and establish Islam as rigorously as in northern Mali.”
Simplice is referring to the insurgency in Mali that began in January 2012 against the Malian government for independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali. Some of the several Malian insurgent groups are Marxists.
The 2012-13 CAR rebellion is an ongoing conflict between the government of the CAR and rebels, many of whom were previously involved in the CAR Bush War between 2004 and 2007.
The rebels have captured some of the major towns in the central and eastern regions of the country.
The offensive began in December when an armed group seized the towns of N’Délé, Sam Ouandja and Ouadda and later escalated.
Life has become difficult for those who have been displaced by the fighting in the CAR, Simplice said. A number of Baptist churches have been badly damaged or destroyed in the conflict. Expatriates, he said, have fled the nation.
Simplice is calling on Baptists around the world to pray for peace and stability in his country.
There are four BWA member organizations in French-speaking CAR with a total of approximately 185,000 members in about 800 churches.
This news release first appeared at the Baptist World Alliance website.