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Region Africa
Leader President Faustin-Archange Touadéra
Population 5 099 000
Christian 74%
Main Religion Christian
Government Republic
Rank 35
Score 61
Previous Rank 34
Previous Score 58

“Some of my family members call me and are surprised when they hear that I am still alive.”

The landlocked country of CAR has become very divided since the 2013 crisis. The civil war has changed attitudes of both Christians and Muslims, bringing about a great distrust between the two. One of the major warring factions is the militant Séléka group, which has mobilised Muslims from a historically marginalised part of the country. This conflict that has pitted the Séléka against the anti-Balaka (a militant group that is made up of animists and nominal Christians) has been a source of persecution for Christians. Christians have been attacked and faced threats mainly from the Séléka but also from the anti-Balaka. Churches and pastors have been the main target for attacks. Christians with a Muslim background in predominantly Muslim parts of the country also face pressure from their family and community due to their Christian faith. The conflict and instability in the country makes converts especially vulnerable for persecution and violence.

Since 2013 Open Doors’ programmes have been dominated by support to the Church in crisis, following the March 2013 coup by the Islam dominated Séléka. We have been working to not only highlight the plight of the Church in the country, but also assisting the Church to provide emotional and physical relief to Christians targeted in violence.

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