Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

Baptists in Central African Republic request urgent prayer on conflict

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Baptists in the Central African Republic (CAR) have requested urgent prayer from the worldwide Baptist family on the conflict in the country.

Singa-Gbazia Nicolas Aime Simplice, president of the Association of Baptist Churches of the Central African Republic, told the Baptist World Alliance® (BWA) that “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,” he said. “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.  At least some of the several Malian insurgent groups are Marxists.

The 2012–2013 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.

Simplice said life has become difficult for those who have been displaced by the fighting in the CAR.  A number of Baptist churches, he told the BWA, 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.

Baptist World Alliance®
© January 7, 2013

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.