Central African Republic (CAR) Might Have a Christian Faith With A Heartbeat….. just maybe

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” (Voltaire)

“Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” not forgive us and smite those bastards who hurt us.” ― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint

I’d kiss this priest and weep at his feet; I’d give a million dollars to be able to say thank you, through my tears. Right now, a priest in the Central African Republic (CAR) is showing the way of Jesus, in the midst of murder and violence, and many in his “Christian” community hate him for it. He is showing the way of Jesus to a church and community who already claim to have Jesus, but probably don’t.

“Murder’s out of tune, And sweet revenge grows harsh.” (William Shakespeare, Othello)

You might want to read this scathing report here. Christian says, “I ate his leg, the whole thing right down to the bone. The State of Religious Faith In The Central African Republic . I was very emotional when I wrote that article. But sadly, I still feel it exposes the depth of the faith we actually have within ourselves when the chips are down. When war and persecution break out,  when people are labeled “enemies” and we are given the upper hand, what do we do? This will show us what we are really made of-whose heartbeat we are really following will come to the surface. And as expected, Christian people would not touch that article with a ten foot pole. We have no intentions of confessing… our way is to get silent, very silent with a funny look on our face.   This cartoon from “The Naked Pastor” sums us up very well when it comes to our silence, or denial, of abuse sometimes. 

“Oh, no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?” says Peeta. “It costs everything you are.”
― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Central African Republic (CAR) is 75% Christian,  almost 50% of the population evangelical…. the rest are Catholic, etc.  And now a huge section of these church members are committing murderous revenge retaliations against the 20% Muslim community for the earlier persecution of the majority Christian population by a small radical Muslim group who wielded power a while back….

“Now is the time for men of good will to stand up and prove the strength and quality of their faith,” said Father Fagba, standing in his floor-length black cassock beside a concrete wall peppered with bullet holes….
“When I did this, nobody in the community understood me. They attacked and threatened me.” (Father Xavier Fagba, CAR)

Thankfully some in the CAR faith community are finally standing up to the evil in their own church ranks. About time. BBC NEWS: The Church Sheltering Muslims

Love your enemies.
Pray for those who persecute you.
Love your neighbor…..
Grace, mercy and forgiveness.

We don’t have to be religious to know in our soul that these are wonderful things.

However, the priest is not popular with his own community… The very fact that this journalist is telling only one story about this is a lesson, is it not? This journalist should have been able to site that, “Thousands of churches , church leaders, priests, pastors, and church communities are doing the same thing all over CAR. Providing sanctuary to people facing murder, butchery and slaughter”…. It was not said, why?

“It’s not safe in this church. Every evening they shoot at the building” (Aisatou Hamadou, a Muslim sheltering in St Peter’s)

Thank you to this priest for showing us the way… I thank you….

Has the depth of Christian work in CAR been exposed? I think so… just like it was in Rwanda a little over 20 years ago. But there is hope only because of holy people, doing holy acts of courage and faith like this priest is doing….. in the face, and in spite of his angry community; dare we add “church community”???   His love is showing the way.

The Muslims discovered in our church that the God we worship is the same as their God. And that’s the vision the whole of this country needs to have” (Father Xavier Fagba)

The church should shelter Muslims, Buddhists, gays, prostitutes, dicorced, life-hardened people, and anyone else being persecuted, murdered and killed, or just plain suffering from being simply, but deeply, heartbroken.

“The greatest thrill is not to kill but to let live.” ― James Oliver CurwoodThe Grizzly King

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