Religious Freedom – Central African Republic

Jump to news clippings on religious freedom in the Central African Republic

BACKGROUND
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM in the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The Central African Republic (CAR) is considered to have a Christian majority, heavily influenced by animism. Approximately 35% of the population holds to indigenous beliefs, and roughly 15% is Muslim.[1]

Before the 2013 coup, religious freedom was guaranteed in the Constitution. 2012-2013 saw new levels of violence as CAR’s government and President deposed by an alliance of rebel militia factions, the Séléka. The Séléka attacked Christian communities, destroyed and looted places of worship.[2] The anti-balaka, formed with Christians and animists fighting back in cycle of violence which escalated in early 2014.

There are communities now almost completely devoid of Muslims, and tens of thousands have fled the country or remain internally displaced.[3] There are reports that as of March 2015, 417 of the country’s 436 mosques have been destroyed.[4] Hundreds of thousands of people remain internally displaced.[5] Boko Haram is seen as a threat to the people of the CAR because of the shared border with Cameroon where Boko Haram has made violent incursions.

Efforts towards reconciliation, though small and limited, are slowly starting to take shape.[6]

For further reading:

Sources:

[1] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ct.html
[2] USCIRF 2014 Report, p. 155.
[3] USCIRF 2014 Report, p. 156.
[4] USCIRF 2015 Report, p. 86.
[5] http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e45c156.html
[6] Para. 49. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CFIndex.aspx

NEWS CLIPPINGS


Over 40 killed in attack on Catholic Cathedral

By Christian Solidarity Worldwide At least 40 people were killed in an attack on 15 November on the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Aliandao town, Central African Republic (CAR), 200 miles east of the capital Bangui. On 15 November the Cathedral and ... Full Article

Hundreds killed in Nigeria attack by Boko Haram

By: IBRAHIM ABDULAZIZ and HARUNA UMAR , Associated Press YOLA, Nigeria — Hundreds of bodies — too many to count — remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International suggested Friday is the ... Full Article

Boko Haram kidnaps more girls

 by Illia Djadi, WorldWatchMonitor The number of Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram continues to increase, as does global outrage. Between eight and 11 more teen-aged girls were kidnapped May 4 by the Islamist group, which on April 14 ... Full Article

Easter killings in CAR

Archbishop calls for commission into the crimes By Illia Djadi, World Watch Monitor For many Christians in the Central African Republic, Easter was synonymous with tragedy, adding to their already difficult circumstances. Two priests were ... Full Article