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More than 40 Christians including 2 churchmen killed in Central African Republic

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Violent attack in Alindao – a town in Central African Republic claimed lives of more than 40 Christians. Victims of violence include 2 churchmen also. On November 15, militants attacked Cathedral of Alindao and a neighboring refugee camp.

Christian persecution in Africa

Vatican News service has confirmed that a fresh violent attack has resulted in more than 40 deaths. “We have counted 42 bodies so far, but we are still searching for others. The camp has been burned to the ground and people fled into the bush and to other [internally displaced persons] camps in the city,” a local legislator Etienne Godenaha, told Reuters.

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One of the 2 churchmen killed was Bishop Blaise Mada, Vicar general of the diocese of Alindao. The other one was Father Celestine Ngoumbango, the parish priest of the village of Mingala. Eye witnesses revealed that Bishop Mada was gunned down during an assault on his residence where he had hidden when the attack was launched. Father Ngoumbango was burnt to death as his charred remains were discovered day after the attack. At the same time, many other Christians were burnt alive in their houses during the attack.

Referring to the gruesome killings Pope Francis on Sunday, November 18 said: “With sorrow I learned of the massacre that took place two days ago in a camp for displaced people in the Central African Republic, in which two priests were also killed. Let us pray for the dead and for the wounded, and let us pray that the violence will cease in that beloved country that is in great need of peace.”

Since 2012, violence has marred peace in the Central African Republic. Back in 2012, Seleka rebels ousted the then President Francois Bozizé. The rebels then reigned by dint of violent power. In response, another group known as anti-balaka began to organize counterattacks in late 2013. Both groups have perpetrated large-scale atrocities against the civilians.