十月，中非共和國（CAR）的100多名基督徒領袖曾警告世界說， "種族滅絕宗教內戰" 的危險在中非日益增長。去年 12 月上旬，他們的 "班吉宣言" 似乎証實了這種恐懼--從首都班吉發出的消息稱：發生在班吉的穆斯林和基督教民兵之間的戰鬥使 400 至1,000 喪生。請參閱以下英文報導:
Surge in Christian-Muslim Strife Stirs Genocide Fears in Central African Republic
By Kate Tracy / Christianitytoday/12/12/2013
In October, more than 100 Christian leaders of the Central African Republic (CAR) warned the world of the increasing risk of a "genocidal interfaith civil war."
This past weekend seemed to confirm the fears found in their "Bangui Declaration" (copied below)—issued from the capital city of Bangui—as fighting between largely Muslim and Christian militias in Bangui killed between 400 and 1,000 people.
To stem the escalating conflict, the United Nations, led by France, has sent thousands of soldiers to the CAR, long known as "the worst crisis most people have never heard of." (CT previously traveled more than 600 miles through the CAR to report on the "messy business" of clean water.)
Since Islamist rebels seized powerin March, a new fault line has emerged: religion. Self-proclaimed president Michel Djotodia has ordered "Seleka" fighters, including mercenaries from neighboring Chad and Sudan, to disband. But renegades continue attacking Christian villages and churches—and Christian militias known as "anti-Balaka" are retaliating.
World Watch Monitor (WWM) has chronicled the recent unraveling of Christian-Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports:
While the anti-Balaka groups have been generally described as Christian militia, their actions have been condemned by the Church in CAR, which is calling for peace, the disarming of all armed groups and national reconciliation. Church leaders have also been working with imams in the tense months following the coup to bring reconciliation, and calling for a return to peaceful coexistence between the two religious communities.
Though the landlocked country has long been unstable, this is the first time large-scale religious conflict has torn apart the mostly Christian CAR, the BBC reports.
Djotodia is the first Muslim to rule the CAR. Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. representative to the United Nations, said, "We are deeply angered by the atrocities perpetrated by Séléka rebels against innocent civilians, including many children. We are also deeply alarmed by the prospect of CAR becoming a safe haven for violent extremists."
However, Thierry Vircoulon, Central Africa project director at the International Crisis Group, told allAfrica.com that while the situation was critical, the fear of genocide is overstated. And the Catholic archbishop of Bossangoa told Religion News Service (RNS) that the conflict is more about politics than religion itself.
WWM reports a statement released by the Catholic archbishop of Bangui:
The anti-Balaka is the expression of exasperation of part of the population against the numerous abuses committed by Séléka rebels. However, we reiterate that all anti-Balaka are not Christians and that all Christians are not anti-Balaka. It is the same for ex-Séléka and Muslims.
WWM also reported the Bangui Declaration in October was "signed by four representatives: Rev. Franco Mbaye-Bondoi, general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Central Africa; Rev. Nicolas Geurekoyame-Gbangou, president of the alliance; Mgr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Catholic archbishop of Bangui; and by Abbot Cyriaque Gbate-Doumal, general secretary of the Episcopal Conference of RNS reports the conflict has resulted in 400,000 internally displaced persons and 64,000 refugees. Some 2,000 people journeyed to a Catholic mission in Bouca—a city in the northwest—for shelter in November.
CT has noted how Baptist leaders requested prayer shortly before rebels seized control of the CAR in March, as well as the arrest of the CAR's evangelical leader, Nicolas Guerekoyame, for remarks the pastor made during a sermon. CT also noted the rise of religion as a new fault line in the volatile nation.