Bangui, Central African Republic, Jul 17, 2018 / 10:46 am
The bishops of the Central African Republic have urged Catholics not to give in to calls for revenge attacks on Muslims, following a surge in violence and the murder of a priest.
The CAR has suffered violence since December 2012, when several bands of mainly Muslim rebel groups formed an alliance, taking the name Seleka, and seized power.
In reaction to the Seleka's attacks, some Central Africans formed self-defense groups called anti-balaka. Some of these groups, mainly composed of Christians, began attacking Muslims out of revenge, and the conflict took on a sectarian character.
A group calling itself the League of Defense of the Church issued a statement earlier this month saying it would defend the Church and avenge killed priests, charging that both the government and the Church hierarchy have failed to protect Christians.