BANGUI, Central African Republic – Prior to gaining its independence in 1960, this landlocked county occupying the Ubangi and Chari River Basins was part of French Equatorial Africa. Since gaining independence, the county, although rich in uranium, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber and arable land, remains one of the 10 poorest countries in the world.
Nearly continuous political unrest, including a Civil War from 2012 to 2014, has been a root cause contributing to the poverty and being identified by the 2015 Human Development Index as the unhealthiest country and the country with the lowest level of human development.
During the last week of March, Nicolas Guérékoyamé-Gbangou, President of the Evangelical Alliance in CAR addressed attendees at a “Rebuilding the Nation” Conference organized by the conference. He challenged Christian leaders to “deepen the teaching of the Word of God to lead Christians to live by their faith” and encouraged them to engage in a prayer campaign for the healing of the country.
Guérékoyamé-Gbang used the examples of Nehemiah and Haggai who rose up to plead with God to heal and restore their land. He noted that other African countries have “finally regained peace and cohesion” because Christians in those countries had followed the pattern of Nehemiah and Haggai. Pointing to Biblical and current evidence, his challenge was “This means that Central Africans who love their country are able to do the same.”
Although the 52 percent of the 4.5 million people in the CAR identify as Protestant and Evangelical and the leadership has generally portrayed itself as Christian, Guérékoyamé-Gbang questioned, “Are they true, practicing Christians or just religious who have followed the path of their fathers to go to church, chapel, or a temple? If that is so, we cannot be surprised to witness this resurgence of violence in the country based on people who call themselves Christians.”
He urged religious leaders to examine what is missing in their preaching and teaching of the Word of God and called upon believers to “continue, tirelessly, the spiritual battle, to observe times of prayer and intercession, to follow the Word of God, so that God gives us lasting peace and prosperity.”
Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the CAR noted his gratitude for the display of Christian resolve to pray for the country’s healing.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
- World Watch Monitor, Evangelical head sets out ambitious vision for rebuilding CAR
- Christian Today, Central African Republic evangelicals: We must rebuild our nation
- Wikipedia, Central African Republic