June 23, 2014: Massacre in Central African Republic

On June 23, 2014 members of a Christian anti-Balaka militia attacked the village of Ardo-Djobi in the Central African Republic (CAR), killing 18 members of the Fulani tribe.

ARDO-DJOBI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – Isn’t it sad how often one religious group attacks another?

When you see all the strife out there that is linked, at least in some small way, to religion it is not at all unreasonable to ask yourself why. After all, aren’t religions supposed to inspire us to love and good works?

This is particularly puzzling when it comes to those faiths which are very similar in origin and message. I am referring here to the big three – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – which derive from exactly the same prophetic tradition (Christianity builds on Judaism – cf the Old and New Testaments – and Islam in turn on both).

If all three are merely versions of the same ‘truth’ why do we see so much violence among them?

We cannot allow our similarities to bind us (Photo: zeevveez on flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The sad reality is that there is far too much violence that springs from perceived religious differences.

On this day in 2014

Members of a Christian anti-Balaka militia attacked the village of Ardo-Djobi in the Central African Republic (CAR), killing 18 members of the Fulani tribe. The victims were Muslim.

Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters. Together we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself.

Pope Francis

The anti-Balaka hate the Seleka, a Muslim rebel coalition that overthrew the CAR government in 2013 and have sought revenge for attacks carried out during Seleka rule. The sectarian violence has killed thousands and forced nearly one million people to flee their homes.

Too bad more CAR citizens did not heed Pope Francis’ words.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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