Christians Targeted as Violence Escalates in Central African Republic

Kristin Wright | Open Doors USA | Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christians Targeted as Violence Escalates in Central African Republic

Tensions between Christians and Muslims are rising in the Central African Republic, where deadly clashes have occurred in recent weeks.

While Christians comprise around 76% of the population of the Central African Republic, they are now being targeted by members of Seleka, a coalition of Islamic militias that took power in March of this year. The group’s violent takeover instantly overturned the stability that once existed between Christians and Muslims in the area.

The rebel groups were disbanded after the takeover, but today armed gangs of former Seleka rebels now roam the country, controlling much of the population. Reports of Christians being targeted by the Islamist rebels have led to retaliation by Christian militia groups. 

According to the BBC, the Christian majority and Muslim minority have coexisted peacefully in the Central African Republic – until March of this year.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned the UN Security Council that the armed rebel groups are inciting violence between Christians and Muslims. In a report to the Security Council, Mr. Ban explained that the conflict “threatens to degenerate into a countrywide religious and ethnic divide, with the potential to spiral into an uncontrollable situation.”