Bangui, Central African Republic -- Visiting a mosque and later at Mass, Francis calls faithful to be “artisans of the human and spiritual renewal of your country.”
Bangui, Central African Republic
Updated: "Lay down these instruments of death!” Francis pleaded in the Bangui cathedral, where he opened a jubilee year for the first time outside Rome,
The Catholic church in the Central African Republic pleaded for firmer action by United Nations-backed peacekeepers after an attack left the parish priest and at least 14 worshipers dead.
Islamist rebels who have taken over Central African Republic are targeting Christians and their churches, and the population is "living in permanent anguish," said the Catholic bishops' justice and peace commission.
"What abominable acts, what humiliating, degrading and inhuman forms of treatment: Not knowing what to do next, the population is living in permanent anguish, amid fear, pillage, rape, injustice, violence and the settling of scores," the commission said in a May 5 statement signed by its president, Bishop Albert Vanbuel of Kaga-Bandoro.