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Cathedral in Central African Republic
Photo: VOA News

For many years, the people of the Central African Republic have endured civil war as rebel groups fought against the ruling government. To further complicate the situation, two major factions in the conflict are the predominantly Muslim Séléka group and a primarily Christian group known as the anti-balaka militias. Both of these rival groups are strongly influenced by animism and ongoing tribal conflicts, but the troubles include tensions between Islam and Christianity.

While rival factions battle for control of the country, the present state of the government is, in many ways, nonfunctional. Human rights observers categorize the conflict presently taking place between the animistic Christians and Muslim groups as “religious persecution.” However, Todd Nettleton from The Voice of the Martyrs USA provides beneficial insight that more accurately identifies the nation's true victims of persecution:

"Caught in-between those two [faction] groups are our Christian brothers and sisters – the 'Biblical' disciples,” he explains. “They are persecuted, their homes are destroyed, and thousands of them have been displaced." For more information on this country, and/or to read about specific incidents of persecution, go to our country report.

Prayerfully ask the Lord to grant Christian leaders within this war-torn African nation wisdom, knowledge and discernment as they serve as instruments of God's compassion, provision and peace. Also pray on behalf of all the believers who desire to be true followers of Jesus, asking Him to grant them the grace and strength to stand firm in their faith so they can be powerful witnesses to the multitudes around them. May the peace and hope of Christ not only reign in these persecuted believers' lives but also greatly influence the spiritual and political aspects of the nation.

Country Information

Central African RepublicPopulation
5,357,984 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Baya (28.8), Banda (22.9), Mandjia (9.9), Sara (7.9), M'Baka-Bantu (7.9), Arab-Fulani [Peul] (6), Mbum (6), Ngbanki (5.5), Zande-Nzakara (3), other Central African Republic ethnic groups (2), non-Central African Republic ethnic groups (.1)

Religion (%)
Christian (89), Muslim (9), folk (1), unaffiliated (1)
Note: animistic beliefs and practices influence religious beliefs.

Leader
President Faustin-Archange Touadera (2016)

Government type
Presidential Republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the French model

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Central African Republic

Pray that the church remains united despite national fragmentation due to ongoing conflict. Ask God to give displaced Christians the grace to forgive their persecutors. Uphold our brothers and sisters as they look to the Lord for clarity and truth in relation to scripture.

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