“Violence against Christians in Africa explodes”

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On the African continent, bloody attacks is mounting on Christians, especially Church representatives are in the sights of the terrorists. But not only you, but also imams.

Sunday mass in a Church in Ouagadougou

“Africa is a continent where violence against Christians has exploded.” This set of cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga in an Interview with the German wave sounds dramatic. During the past few weeks, the Killing of Christians has increased in several African countries, says the 52-Year-old. There are priests at the Altar, nuns and simple believers met. Most of the attacks were aimed at Catholics. In Nigeria were kidnapped also an Evangelical Pastor with his daughter and members of the community.

Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga from the Central African Republic

“We are experiencing an increase in violence – not only on the African continent, but also worldwide in the context of global political instability. And, in some countries, people are said of God to the goal,” cardinal Nzapalainga “These acts of violence can be messages, provocations. And we need to be careful we are not called dieFalle fall,” he said. You should not respond to violence with violence.

Bloodbath in the Church

In the Central African Republic, the home of Nzapalainga, has been beheaded, a 77-year-old Spanish nun who taught for decades in the country girls, by Unknown. In Mozambique, a religious man has died after a knife attack. However, on dangerous the situation is for Christians but currently in Burkina Faso, West Africa. In the North of the country by the end of April, were killed five people in an attack on a Protestant Church, including the pastor and two of his sons. In mid-may, killing the attacker in attacks on a mass and a Marian procession, several of the faithful. A priest came to the Altar and killed.

Fear of the faithful

In the parish of “Christ the king” in the district of Pissy in Ouagadougou is concerned: “We are afraid of, but with Christ we are progressing. We will gather to pray,” said father Etienne Kaboré. Many of the faithful agree with him after the show. “We hesitate to come to Church now. But if I put a foot in, to trust, and I pray to my God,” says a woman. “We also pray for the conversion of these people,” says a man.

Imam Ismael Tiendrebeogo, which is involved in inter-religious dialogue, refers to the fact that, in addition to Christian clergy and to the faithful a few months ago, Muslim imams specifically had been killed. Religious representatives were the most frequently targeted by terrorists. “I think it is Tiendrebeogo of the state, to ensure that they are safe”.

Mali 2013: An attack on a Church in Diabaly

Also, imams are threatened

Also Marco mörsch Bacher, Africa expert at the Catholic aid organization Missio in Aachen, Germany, sees a risk of representatives of all religions. Of course, he says, the German wave, one would expect that imams, extremist Muslims, “say quite clearly: This is not Islam, what is propagated as”. But imams would have to “reckon with the specific threats, if you promote something”. It could go up to the murder.

Overall, the location, escalating, mörsch Bacher says. In each of the countries, there are a variety of backgrounds: In Burkina Faso, the expansion of a conflict that you know already from Mali. “There it goes – for example – is less a war of religions, or conflict within the different currents of Islam.” A special role of Wahhabism, a narrow traditionalist interpretation of Sunni Islam that is growing more and more games.

“Religion – peace-making and warmongering”

Coveted natural resources in the Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic, other reasons played a role, says mörsch Bacher. He refers to geo-strategic interests, among which, ultimately, the people would have to suffer on-the-spot. Russia, China and France wanted to use the vast natural resources of the country. You would have to involve more closely the population of the country, in order to secure some wealth for the people, calls for mörsch Bacher. In many countries in Africa show that Religion “is a force that can act both peace-making, as well as warmongering.” Therefore, it is correct, if the German peace-responsibility of the religions to focus on foreign policy stronger.

The cardinal Nzapalainga looks so. He is in his country and also internationally, opted for inter – religious dialogue, and the often together with the President of the Islamic Council in the Central African Republic, and Imam Kobine Layama. The Catholic Church must focus on the example of Jesus and to engage with all groups in a dialogue, he says. Religion was the “Mission to connect people”. And she had to hold on to.