The Central African Republic has been a country in crisis since it gained independence in 1960, with one coup following the next. The population has been terrorized by an unending stream of armed groups that may go by different names, but always commit the same crimes. They loot houses, burn down villages, abduct innocent people, rape women and girls, and kill. In 2013, a bloody civil war broke out and large parts of the country are still under rebel control today. The government has done nothing to intervene, abandoning the people to their fate.
The only help the general populace receives comes from the Church. The Church takes care of orphans, the poor and the sick, runs schools and hospitals, and, in its convents, monasteries and missions, gives shelter to refugees whose houses were burned down by rebels. Again and again, priests and religious risk their lives to protect defenseless women and children from armed assailants. Priests have been taken hostage, several have been killed, and many have been threatened at gunpoint.
Putting the country back together is not only a matter of rebuilding houses and the institutions that have been destroyed. First and foremost, the hearts and conscience of the people have to be strengthened and renewed. The country only has hope for a future if hatred can be overcome and a new leaf can be turned over through reconciliation and forgiveness. Believers must also gain a deeper understanding of the Good News of Christ. After all, two thirds of the population may be Christian, but the belief in witchcraft is still deeply rooted in many places and superstition is widespread.
The Archbishop of Bangui, Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, believes that it is essential for the people to be able to read the Holy Scriptures themselves and to be able to immerse themselves in their message. However, translated copies of the Bible in the national language have sold out and need to be reprinted. The cardinal considers this to be one of the most pressing projects of all.
ACN would like to help by donating $44,300 to print 30,000 copies of the New Testament.
Will you give to support the printing of the New Testament in the Central African Republic? We pray that it will help bring peace and reconciliation to this troubled country.
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.