Bishops denounce attacks in Central African Republic

Madrid, Spain, May 31, 2013 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- A bishop in the Central African Republic is denouncing the plundering and profanations of Church missions in the country, as well as the sexual assaults carried out by Islamists in the rebel militia Seleka.

“They have burned down the pediatric hospital, the internet center and the pharmacy. Outside of Bangassou there have been summary executions of adults and children,” said Bishop Juan Jose Aguirre of Bangassou.

“Women are constantly being raped,” he said, adding that at least three different churches “have been plundered and profaned.”

“They have stolen all of our means of transportation for visiting churches and the faithful – more than 20 cars,” the bishop said.  “I have to walk everywhere and carry my backpack.” 

In an effort to respond to the situation, Aid to the Church in Need has launched an urgent campaign to raise money for the four most affected dioceses – Alindao, Bangassou, Bambari and Kaga-Bandoro.

The organization warned that militants supporting the new government being imposed by force are “extremely armed” and “smother all efforts to resist in the country,” with Christians being “their primary target.” 

The country has seen a widespread exodus of families, the group added, and it is primarily only priests, religious and the bishops that have chosen to stay.

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