Cameroon Archbishop Visits War-torn Central African Republic

Says Church Is Only Institution Functioning in the Country

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After a visit to the Central African Republic (CAR), Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Doula, president of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, conveyed his solidarity to those suffering in the country. The African prelate said in an interview that the Catholic Church is “the only institution that is functioning” in the country.

Fighting has continued after the expulsion of Seleka rebels and acts of violence by the anti-Balaka militia. Atrocities committed by both sides have steered the CAR into chaos.

Archbishop Kleda stated that he wished to “show our solidarity with our brotherly people of the Central African Republic, and to express our friendship and communion to them, and to let them know that we are praying for them so that they should not feel abandoned at this difficult moment.”

“I therefore took along the fruits of these collections to the Central African Republic to permit the Christians and pastors of that Church to meet the needs of the displaced.”

The prelate also met with Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, president of the Central African Episcopal Conference.

Regarding violent acts committed by the so-called Christian anti-Balaka militia, Archbishop Kleda expressed his doubt that they are observant Christians. “I do not think they are devout Christians, since they wear amulets to protect themselves from bullets,” the archbishop said.

“To simply say it is a block of Christians against a block of Muslims is very dangerous and this can contribute to the country being divided and even create problems in the sub region.” (J.A.E.)

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