• Pray for a peace that enables national resources to be developed for economic stability.
• Pray for availability of more oral Christian materials for the largely illiterate population.
• Pray for fully funded Christian education for nationals called to minister to their people.
With ample supplies of diamonds, gold, uranium, and oil, Central African Republic (CAR) should be thriving and rank as one of the world’s richest nations. But instead, it suffers from abject poverty and competition between rival warlords. CAR gained its independence from France under the strong leadership of Barthelemy Boganda. But since then the nation has oscillated relative stability and disunity from constant coups. Most of their leaders squandered the nation’s resources through corruption, played favorites among the ethnic groups, and stirred resentment between the Christian south and Muslim north. Although religious differences had little to do with the initial coups, current warlords have used it as a wedge to gain power.
Though the capital Bangui is relatively calm, numerous armed groups roam the countryside. Each one sets up blockades, operates mines, and executes revenge killings in their separate domains. The chaos has decimated the nation, leaving half of the population under the age of fifteen. Over one million of CAR’s 4.6 million people have been displaced and live in camps that provide little sanitation, have limited access to clean water, and are a quagmire of mud and disease. Violence and fighting has left the justice system, schools, and administration centers understaffed and inefficient. The economy is dependent on subsistence agriculture, yet even with World Bank loans, economic recovery is prevented by a lack of secure infrastructure and the threat of resurgent rebel factions.
CAR had once been one of the world’s most evangelized nations. To this day, half of the population professes Christianity, with 15% being Muslim, and 35% adhering to animistic faiths. However, Christianity is often mixed with local animistic traditions, and there is little depth of commitment and limited grasp of Biblical truth. National missionaries and agencies, however, are increasing, and indigenous-led Churches are rising up to meet the great spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of their people. This nation holds great potential. But it is only through the power of Christ that this potential can be unleashed and realized for CAR’s good and for God’s glory.
Capital City: Bangui
Government: Presidential republic
Major People Groups: 8% Sango; 6% Manja (Mandja); 5% Northwest Gbaya; 5% Linda (Banda-Bambari); 5% Southwest Gbaya
Religion: Christian 75%, Muslim 13%, Ethnic religions 11%, Agnostic 1%
Language: Gbaya, Sango, Mandja, Banda-Bambari, Fulah
GDP Per Capita: $900
Literacy Rate: 37.4%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 8.6%
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