There is presently little if any rule of law in the Central African Republic. Different militia factions vie for control and civilians are subjected to many forms of abuse, including rape, looting, torture, and murder.
Even though warring factions are labelled Muslim and Christian, leaders on each side take pains to insist that the conflict is not at its heart about religion. Instead, they say, politicians stirred up trouble in a quest for power. The ensuing bloodshed became an outlet for other grudges - regional, economic, ethnic and personal.
The Fulani (Peuhl) are the largest Muslim group in the country, out of a total of 11 Muslim groups. These Muslim groups are threatened by the violence, as are the Christian and Animist groups. No one is really safe.
Agencies estimate there are more than 600,000 internally displaced persons in CAR, approximately 400,000 refugees in neighboring countries, and more than 2.5 million people need humanitarian assistance. Some 16 aid workers have been killed so far, and humanitarian aid projects are seriously underfunded.
Churches in remote towns have opened their doors to fleeing Muslims. Among those trying to stop the cycle of violence are two of the country's most senior clerics, a Christian and a Muslim who not only work together in the name of peace but who also lived together for several months. These are examples of how the Lord can bring healing to the land.
There are many Christians in the Central African Republic, and many of these are evangelicals. Some of these have no doubt been part of the violence. Perhaps repentance will lead to a depth of commitment to Christ that will revolutionize their lives, as they see the evil the human heart is capable of.
If Christians will take the lead in confessing sin and reaching out to Muslims, asking for forgiveness, Christ will be honored. Muslims as well as other Christians will be drawn to the Lord as Christians involved in the violence repent and take steps of reconciliation directed toward those who have been harmed.
* Pray for a stable government to soon be established in CAR, one which is capable of enforcing laws without partiality.
* Pray that Christians will be strongly convicted of hatred and ethnic enmity. Pray for repentance.
* Pray for clergy, both Christian and Muslim, to be strong advocates for peace and reconciliation.
* Pray for safety for humanitarian aid workers, and for additional funding for projects.
* Pray that children will not be recruited into the warring camps, and for those already drawn into these factions.
* Pray for pastors to counsel their people scripturally as to how to respond to the violence. Pray they will be good examples.
"O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure." Psalm 7: 9