Central African Republic evangelicals: We must rebuild our nation

Evangelical leaders in the strife-torn Central African Republic have pledged to unite in prayers and called for the rebuilding of the nation.

At a conference organised by the alliance including participants from Europe and elsewhere in Africa, its president Rev Nicolas Guérékoyamé-Gbangou said: 'Recent history of some countries in Africa, among others, has shown that servants of God, like Nehemiah and Haggai, have risen up to plead with God in order to put an end to the barbarism that then roiled their respective countries.

Rev Nicolas Guérékoyamé-Gbangou, president of the Evangelical Alliance in CAR, addressing a conference of Christian leaders in Bangui, the capital.World Watch Monitor

'These countries have finally regained peace and social cohesion. This means that Central Africans who love their country are able to do the same.'

The conference was held from March 26-April 1 in CAR's capital Bangui.

Speaking to World Watch Monitor, Guérékoyamé-Gbangou stressed the need for good governance and political stability based on a strong ethical foundation.

He said: 'The issue of bad governance has always been central to the concerns of Central Africans, and it always results in military coups, rebellions and mutinies.

'These, in turn, create political instability, so that generations of Central Africans who succeed one another find themselves without their bearings. They wonder who should be considered as a role model in this country. Not the political leaders, not the social leaders, not the religious leaders.

'When it's like that, there's a need to reflect and say: maybe the time has come to talk about the rebuilding of the Central African Republic.'

He spoke of the natural wealth of the country, which is rich in resources, calling on business people to be aware of their responsibility to God. 'They must be animated by the fear of God, and also invest in their country,' he said.

He called on young people to 'realise that they must not continue to be exploited by armed groups or politicians. It is time for them to care about their future, because they also have a destiny from God.'

He also challenged religious leaders, saying: 'The Word of God assigns us the task of sentinel. The rebuilding process is a commitment and will continue until the CAR finds its way back to its destiny and future generations can say: finally we find ourselves in a country where we feel proud of ourselves.'

CAR has been torn by a conflict that began in 2013 when a coalition of Muslim rebels, the Seleka, ousted President François Bozizé and took power. Inter-communal strife has led to hundreds of deaths amd the situation is deteriorating.