We, Heads of Central Africa Evangelical Churches, members of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa have participated in the Central Africa Evangelical Churches Consultation on the Impact of Religious Extremism on Missions, held in Bangui, Central Africa Republic from October 3-7, 2022. The Consultation brought together participants from Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Central Africa Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Tchad.
After deliberating on the following sub-themes:
- Factors that contribute to violence and proliferation of conflicts for economic gain.
- Identifying trends of growing extremism in the Central Africa region.
- Acknowledging the challenges we face in countering religious extremism and identifying what needs to be done.
- Build resilience and actionable strategy within our Christian communities.
The leaders were drawn from the six Central African countries listed above after much introspection have observed with great concern that:
- Human rights and the rule of law in most Central African countries is merely a concept and not reality.
- The Church in Central Africa has not always been united in countering threats of persecution. The AEA Central Africa Regional President should have access to incidence reports and information on extremism within the region.
- The Body of Christ has often been publicly humiliated, marginalized and defiled as a result of religious extremism -with reports of killings, rape, abductions and socio-economic exclusion on the rise.
- Central African Countries, specifically Christians in these countries, are facing a wave of attacks from fundamentalist terrorist groups from Central Africa. This wave is often met by populations facing extreme poverty, political instability and a youth bulge that often serve as strong candidates for radicalization.
Acknowledging these challenges, the Central Africa Regional heads are resolute in;
- Calling for unity within our evangelical Christian fraternity to stem the tide
- Developing a multi-national, concerted and coordinated timed response to persecution within the Central Africa Region – This intervention and action plan must be driven by all National Associations in the Region, FATEB as the research arm, Africa Services as on the ground response and trauma teams with AEA providing Advocacy through less persecuted Churches, governments regional and global Human rights councils.
- Interrogate our Evangelical Theology of Persecution and Suffering based on Central Africa contexts and offer pastors and practitioners training to address this subject relevantly.
- Raising disciples for Christ who raise other disciples.
- Asserting mutual love for neighbour and tolerance within our faith communities
- Converting experiences of persecution to build resilience – strengthen response systems and counter rising hate with love and prayer.
We, Central African Evangelical leaders have adopted this communiqué and are committed to continuing to work together to counter religious extremism PREVALENT in our respective countries.
Drafted in Bangui, Central African Republic 3-7, 2022.