Thousands Seek Church Protection

Woman washes clothes on diocesan compound in Central African Republic (CNS photo/courtesy Bishop Nongo)

More than 35,000 people are living on the 40-acre diocesan compound in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, seeking protection from rebels who are targeting Christians, according to the local bishop. Bishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo Aziagbia of Bossangoa said people began arriving in September to escape attacks by rebels of the Seleka alliance. Most of the people in the diocesan compound are women and children, the bishop said. The bishop reported that women have been risking rape and attacks to go out to their farms to harvest food. The bishop spoke on conditions at the compound on Nov. 19, after testifying in Washington about his situation before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. The previous night rebels had surrounded the diocesan compound and threatened those inside with a rocket attack. In his testimony, Bishop Nongo said Seleka was pitting the country’s Christian and Muslim citizens against each other.

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bill bannon
4 years 8 months ago
But the Church will not protect them if I sense the present clerical zeitgeist and the present UN will correctly. John Paul II was strangely against the coalition to free Kuwait....warning that such action would have dire consequences. All we can do in that new pacifist world is pray daily and that is a lot thank God. End of writing to day...beginning of prayer for these people. Now.

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