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Pope calls for peace in C.A.R, prays for victims of violence

Pope calls for peace in C.A.R, prays for victims of violence

Central African Republic

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his closeness to the people of the Central African Republic, where on Tuesday at least 15 people, including a priest, were killed and scores wounded when unidentified gunmen attacked a church.

The pontiff, after his weekly address to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, invited the faithful to pray for the African country he visited in 2015 and said that he prays the Lord to help everyone to say no to violence and revenge in order to build peace.

“I invite you to pray for the people of the Central African Republic, a country that I had the joy of visiting and which I carry in my heart, and where in recent days there have been serious violence with numerous dead and wounded, including a priest. May the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, help everyone to say no to violence and revenge in order to build peace together”, the Pope said.

I invite you to pray for the people of the Central African Republic, a country that I had the joy of visiting and which I carry in my heart, and where in recent days there have been serious violence with numerous dead and wounded, including a priest.

The attack in the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui occurred on the border of the predominantly Muslim PK 5 neighbourhood where 21 people were killed last month.

Although the gunmen were not identified, Central African Republic has seen frequent incidences of inter-faith violence since 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize.

At least 19 people were killed and 98 wounded in the renewed sectarian violence in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, targeting a church, a mosque and health facilities. The country has faced deadly inter-religious and intercommunal fighting since 2013, with thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

In November 2015, the pope visited the Central African nation and delivered a message of reconciliation.

Reuters

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