Catholic World News

Religious leaders pledge join effort for peace in Central African Republic

February 06, 2015

Christian and Muslim leaders from the Central African Republic have vowed to work together to end sectarian violence, the Fides news service reports.

At a meeting in Rome, organized by the Sant’Egidio community, three religious leaders said that the conflict in the Central African Republic is not religious, but is “the result of political manipulation which exploits religion.”

The three—Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, Imam Kobin Layana, and Pastor Nguerekoyame Gbangou—said that they would cooperate to “defuse this spiral that manipulates religion for political purposes.” They called attention to incidents in which this cooperation has already been evident, with Muslims shielding Christian families from attacks and Christians shielding Muslims.

“The most urgent problem is disarmament,” the trio said, explaining that their country is flooded with weapons and armed groups have become marauders. At the same time, the religious leaders said, “One must disarm the minds of people. And it is here that religions can play a key role.”

 


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