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Witnesses in the Central African Republic Flee Armed Conflicts

A member of a disaster relief committee distributes relief kits.

DOUALA, Cameroon—Increasing ethnic and religious violence in parts of the Central African Republic has forced Jehovah’s Witnesses to flee to the neighboring countries of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they have been welcomed and cared for by fellow worshippers.

After a flare-up of violence, on July 13, 2017, some 15 Jehovah’s Witnesses and their families, including a newborn child, fled to the village of Mbai Mboum in eastern Cameroon. The following week, as a result of another conflict in which armed groups burned homes, some 60 Jehovah’s Witnesses from Bangassou, the Central African Republic, sought refuge across the border with fellow Witnesses in the town of Ndu, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A newborn child among the refugees.

Jean-Bernard Fayanga, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Central African Republic, states: “We are glad to hear that none of our brothers and sisters have been killed in these conflicts. We are working closely with the branch offices in Cameroon and Congo to mobilize disaster relief committees in the region to provide our fellow Witnesses drinkable water, food, adequate shelter, as well as pastoral support.”

Witness elders have arranged to provide spiritual assistance, such as opportunities to watch Bible-based videos, in the refugees’ native language, Sango.

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses facilitates disaster relief efforts from their world headquarters, using funds donated to the Witnesses’ global ministry work.

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000

Cameroon: Gilles Mba, +237-6996-30727

Central African Republic: Jean-Bernard Fayanga, +236-7575-1605