Central African Republic
Printing thirty thousand copies of the New Testament in Sango
The Central African Republic has been a country in crisis since it gained independence in 1960, with one coup after another. Its population has been terrorized by an unending stream of armed groups that although they may have gone by different names, always committed the same crimes: looting houses, burning down villages, abducting innocent people, raping women and girls, and killing. In 2013, a bloody civil war broke-out and large parts of the country have since remained under rebel control until this day. The government has done nothing to intervene, abandoning their people to an awful fate.
The only help the general population receives comes from the Church. The Church cares for orphans, the poor and the sick. It runs schools and hospitals and, in its convents, monasteries and missions, provides shelter to refugees whose houses were burned down by rebel groups. Time and again, priests and religious risk their lives to protect defenseless women and children from armed assailants. Priests have been taken hostage and several have been killed. Many more have been threatened at gunpoint (see news from May 2 on FIDES).
Putting the country back together is not only a matter of rebuilding houses and institutions that have been destroyed through the conflict. But first and foremost, the hearts and conscience of the people requires strengthening and renewal.
The country only has hope for a future if hatred is overcome and a new leaf 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 a 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 have the opportunity to read the Holy Scriptures themselves and to immerse themselves in their message. Translated copies of the Bible into the national language have now sold out and need to be reprinted. The cardinal considers this one of the most pressing projects of all.
ACN would like to help by giving $56,000 to print 30,000 copies, in Sango, of the New Testament for the people of the Central African Republic.
Please click to support a similar project!