A Christian church in the Central African Republic is currently providing shelter to a group of 700 Muslims, who are attempting to flee the vengeful “anti-balaka” (anti-machete) Christian militia.
For months, violence between Christians and Muslims has ravaged the country, leaving more than 1 million displaced from their homes. Following a series of atrocities committed by the Muslim Seleka rebel group targeting Christian communities, Christian “anti-balaka” militias have undertaken retribution attacks against Muslims in the country.
The pastor of the church in the city of Boali, which is currently being guarded by about 70 French troops, however, wants an end to the violence. He told France 24 news,
“I am not going to let anyone hurt the people inside my church, it doesn’t matter whether they are Christians or Muslims,”
and encouraged his congregation to greet their Muslim neighbors with a “kiss of peace.”
Church and local officials are working on an evacuation plan for the Muslim families taking shelter at the church.