“A disembodied Christianity has no right to citizenship in Central Africa,” Bishops say, calling faithful to coherence in preparation for elections
Bangui (Agenzia Fides) – The political crisis that threatened the conduct of forthcoming elections in the Central African Republic seems to have been overcome. Sunday, February 14th, Central African rebel movements and the opposition announced their return to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the body responsible for preparing the presidential and legislative elections, scheduled to be held this year at a date not yet determined .
On January 13, opposition parties, former rebel movements, and several “center” parties had announced the suspension of their participation in the Election Commission, to protest against the president, accusing him of being partisan.
The agreement does not call for the resignation of the President of the IEC, but provides a check on the administrative and financial management of the Electoral Commission.
The next elections are scheduled by the agreements reached under the “inclusive political debate” started in late 2008 among the government, opposition, former rebel movements, and civil society (see Fides 15/12/2008). At the beginning of 2009, a government of national unity was formed (see Fides 20/1/2009).
Central African Bishops have recently asked that the elections serve as an opportunity to rebuild the country. In a message to Catholics and all people of good will, a copy of which was sent to Fides, the bishops urged the Central Africans to work so that “the forthcoming elections are a real journey of political and democratic maturity.” The message says: “Experience shows that some African countries that have managed to hold genuinely democratic elections have emerged from situations of war to rebuild a nation that is united, reconciled, and enhanced.”
The Bishops remind the faithful to contribute to the development of the country, living the faith with coherence. “Which way, or what light can we give the country to offer it a genuine sense of history that allows it to be an integral part of the concert of nations? This commitment to faith, which must be a real springboard for the reconstruction of our country, must characterize our actions, our thoughts and our way of conducting the affairs of the nation.”
“A disembodied Christianity has no right to citizenship in Central Africa, which has suffered from so many ills and misfortunes. Let us ‘make history’ through our faith,” the message concluded. (Agenzia Fides 18/2/2010)