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A human tragedy is unfolding in the Central African Republic. Conflict is tearing its social fabric apart.

Christian and Muslim communities are praying for peace.

Here pilgrims carry a statue of Virgin Mary to a hilltop by the town of Boda in Lobaye. Catholic bishops have called for the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace. The statute of Mary is left through the night and retrieved at dawn. It’s a symbol of hope for a divided nation.

  • Pilgrims carry a Virgin Mary statue to a hilltop by the town of Boda in Lobaye.
  • People of all faiths want an end to militia rule and mob violence.
  • Bishops have called on the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace.
  • The statute of Mary is left through the night.
  • The statute of Mary is left through the night.
  • Caritas has promoted Christian and Muslim peacebuilding efforts.
  • Muslim and Christian religious leaders have toured the country urging peace.
  • Caritas has provided food to tens of thousands of people in Lobaye and elsewhere.
  • The statue is retrieved at dawn – a symbol of hope for a divided nation.

Caritas has promoted peacebuilding efforts. Muslim and Christian religious leaders have toured the country urging peace. Caritas has also provided food to tens of thousands of people in Lobaye and elsewhere.

To live side by side: A prayer for Central African Republic

Loving God,
We ask that your spirit touch the peoples of the Central African Republic.
That brother no longer turn against brother.
Nor sister against sister.
May your children learn to live side by side:
To forgive
To reconcile
To build and not tear down.
And so may we all.

Lord, who calls all peacemakers blessed,
Empower all peacemakers inside and outside the Central African Republic:
To stand up for the vulnerable
To harbor the refugee
To aid the afflicted
To comfort the frightened
To work and advocate for justice
To say “No more!” to violence.

Lord, who calls his people to beat their swords into ploughshares,
Make us all tillers:
Planting seeds of peace in the Central African Republic
And in all nations
Working faithfully for the glorious harvest
That is your justice.

God of all neighbors
Of all states and every region
Beyond nations, above borders:
Come in your peace
Come in your justice
Come in your hope
Come in your love
Come, and do not delay.

Amen.

Prayer by Faithworks CRS. All photos by Sam Phelps/CRS