Church Members Return after Militant Attack in Central African Republic

In March 2023, a militant Muslim group attacked Pastor Samuel’s* village in southern Central African Republic.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC — In March 2023, a militant Muslim group attacked Pastor Samuel’s* village in southern Central African Republic (CAR). Most of the Christians – including Pastor Samuel – fled. But through support and prayers from Christian charity Open Doors, he and many of his church have returned to rebuild their lives.

Gérard*Central African Republic:

“We had never heard such loud noises from weapons. We remained inside our houses, terrified, motionless. The rebels surrounded the village completely. Everybody hid. They burnt down my house.”

The Central African Republic is a Christian-majority country, but the government is not in full control of large areas. There is always a danger of sudden attacks by unspecified, mostly Muslim armed groups. In March 2023, a militant Muslim group attacked government soldiers who were stationed in this village in the south. But in this overwhelmingly Christian community, many residents believe that they were the intended targets.

Pastor Samuel*:

They came with many people. They attacked us because we worship God. They came to steal the offering money and the money that I kept as the pastor. They destroyed the church to stop the name of the Lord from being praised in this place.

Germaine*:

We all fell flat on the floor. We stayed inside and waited until the shooting stopped. Nobody died. I still thank the Lord for keeping us alive. Bullets were whistling everywhere. The roof was pierced by many bullets.

By the time the army had chased away the militants, the church and shops had been destroyed. Villagers who had lost their homes, their possessions and their means of income fled the area. So too did Pastor Samuel. But after some time, he returned to the village to rebuild and to encourage his congregation to do the same. Open doors gave money to help rebuild the church and some of the shops, and this support convinced more villagers to return.

Gérard*:

I thank my brothers in Christ worldwide. You have helped us through this time of misfortune. The rebels burnt down my shop. You gave me $400 to repair and restock.

Pastor Samuel*:

Thanks to God, I came back to lead the worship under the trees. Fellow believers joined in the worship, first in small numbers, but now we are a big group.

Until the church roof is finished, the villagers gather outside, rain or shine, to worship the Lord together. And they sing, “God hears all prayers, big or small. He listens to our prayers.

*Names changed for security reasons.


About Open Doors UK

For over 60 years, Open Doors UK has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.


Read more news on Non Profit / Faith Based Organizations, World Missions, and Religious Freedom on Missions Box.


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