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ICC Note: Over 1,000 Muslims have taken refuge in a large church in the capital city of the Central African Republic, Bangassou. These people are hiding from a group known as anti-Balaka forces. Many reports claim the group is mainly Christians, but the Catholic Church in CAR is saying that they are mainly animist and traditional religion followers.

03/13/2018 CAR (World Watch Monitor) – Over 1,000 Muslims have been hiding inside a Roman Catholic Church at a compound in Bangassou, Central African Republic, fearful that a hostile militia will kill them. While some media reports say the militia is mostly made up of Christians, Catholic sources are disputing that claim.

Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need, which has been in contact with the church in Bangassou, told The Christian Post in an email Thursday that numerous media reports that describe the anti-balaka militia group as “Christian” are off the mark.

“To call the anti-balaka a Christian militia, as is often done, is a mistake,” said Maria Lozano, communications manager at Aid to the Church in Need International. “Our partners in the field told us several times that there is not much about them that is Christian. They carry fetishes and amulets for protection. The conflict is between Muslims and non-Muslims, the many followers of traditional religions and non-Christian sects.”

Lozano told CP that Seleka and Muslim rebels from Sudan and Chad have destroyed and attacked the homes of both Christian and Muslim communities.


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For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]