The Central African Republic (CAR) has been in constant conflict since 2013 – and the persecution situation has changed very little in that period. Many of the factions (including the infamous Wagner mercenary group from Russia) involved in the decade-long conflict have been credibly accused of human rights violations, even as they now control much of the country.
Christian leaders who dare to publicly denounce the violence have been threatened, and their church buildings have been burned and ransacked. Some of the anti-government militias target the Christian community, and in the many regions these rebel groups control, believers are at risk for abduction, murder, sexual violence and other horrific treatment. Militias also force believers into their ranks, leaving devastated families and communities.
The conflict has resulted in the displacement of thousands of Christians forced to live in camps and lose their homes and livelihoods. In addition to the insecurity and violence, converts from Islam also face persecution (ostracised, pressured and even attacked) from their immediate family members and local community.
“One Sunday after the church service, [my husband] picked up some clients to take them to the neighbouring village. Armed Fulani men stopped him and shot him. Christians are their preferred targets.”
Zakia, a widow in CAR whose husband was killed by militants while he was driving a taxi.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors works through local partners to support believers in the Central African Republic with persecution survival training, economic empowerment projects and trauma care.