By Jeff Brumley
Baptists living in war-torn African nations are being asked to press their governments for peace amid fighting that has claimed more than 5 million lives and displaced close to 1 million.
The All Africa Baptist Fellowship, or AABF, also issued a plea to governments in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo to live up to their obligations to guarantee safety and security for all citizens.
The organization called “upon all parties involved to put an end to their anti-social actions and to start a serious search for peace,” the Baptist World Alliance said in a news release. The AABF is a regional body of the Baptist World Alliance, a fellowship of unions and conventions in 121 countries comprising 42 million members.
Baptists especially are being asked to “intercede for these countries that respect for life, peace and stability will soon be restored,” the release said. Baptists also are to “take practical action to express their Christian love and compassion for those affected” by armed conflict in those nations.
The region has significant Baptist populations, with four BWA organizations representing 180,000 members in more than 700 churches in the Central African Republic, or CAR. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, boasts 11 BWA groups with a membership exceeding 1.6 million in some 5,400 congregations.
Fighting in the area has raged for years.
Conflict erupted in the CAR in 2012, leading to the fall of the government by a Muslim coalition known as the Seleka. Most attacks were against Christian civilians.
In South Sudan, fighting continues in violation of a ceasefire agreement reached in January.
And war in the DRC goes back several decades, killing millions.
Baptists around the globe may contribute to aid efforts by visiting the BWA web site.