Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Men, women and children had taken refuge at church compound to escape violence

Showing blatant disregard for life and faith, rebel fighters alongside armed Muslim civilians in the Central African Republic killed several people in an attack on a church compound. Thousands of unarmed civilians had taken refuge there to escape the violence that has rapidly encroached one of the African continent's poorest countries.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 Christian civilians live at the the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Bambari. This photo shows them at an earlier Easter Sunday service.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 Christian civilians live at the the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Bambari. This photo shows them at an earlier Easter Sunday service.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Bambari, cathedral, Central African Republic, attack, balaka

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack in Bambari, 236 miles northeast of the capital of Bangui, came shortly before French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was expected to visit. A grenade attack had injured seven French soldiers the previous week.

Church officials said fighters from the Seleka rebel movement and armed civilians from the town's Muslim community had invaded the St. Joseph's Cathedral around 3 p.m.

Get food into the hands of needy African children -- by going here!

"We don't have the exact death toll yet, but many people have been killed. As I'm speaking to you, they are still there," the Rev. Jesus Martial Dembele, vicar general for the archdiocese of Bangui said. Between 4,000 and 6,000 mainly Christian civilians live at the cathedral.

The Reverend Firmin Gbagoua, a priest at the cathedral says that the attackers suspected that Christian militia fighters, known as anti-balaka or anti-machete, were based inside.

"They came in. They are killing people," a nun inside the compound said during the attack, before hanging up.

One Seleka official said the attackers had been attacked by anti-balaka fighters in a majority Muslim neighborhood. One Muslim civilian was killed in the clash, he said. "All we did was retaliate," Ahmat Negad, one of the group's spokesmen in Bambari said.

In the meantime, the Catholic Church's Dembele accused the French forces of not stepping in to prevent the attack.

A French military spokesman disagreed, saying that French troops had intervened around 4 p.m. and took up positions between a mainly Muslim crowd including Seleka fighters and a large group of Christians when they came under small arms fire.

"We immediately returned fire and in all likelihood inflicted losses on that group," the military spokesman, Gilles Jaron, said. He declined to say by which group he believed the shots had been fired.

"Currently we are present around the bishopric to protect that population," he said.

One Bambari resident said a French military helicopter was flying over the town by late afternoon.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.


More Africa

Prayer works! Boko Haram releases 21 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls Watch

Image of Twenty-one Chibok schoolgirls were released from Boko Haram.


Over 200 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram. Now, two years later, some have been returned. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With help from negotiations brokered by the Red Cross and Swiss government, Boko Haram has agreed to ... continue reading

Jesuit priest takes bullets to face in violent protest Watch

Image of The Jesuit priest was shot at close range in the face (TimesLive/YouTube).


Violence broke out between authorities and protesting students when the South African government proposed an 8 percent increase of already barely affordable tuition. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For over two decades, South Africa has been struggling to stop the ... continue reading

Did you know the ROSARY is defeating Boko Haram! Watch

Image of The Rosary is our greatest weapon against all terror. Let us pray!

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is the most powerful weapon deployed against Boko Haram? Is it a smart bomb or a stealth drone? No. It turns out, the most feared weapon against Boko haram is the Rosary. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Among all the weapons deployed by mankind, one of the ... continue reading

Boko Haram Islamist Jihadists Kill Eight more Christians in their War Against Christianity in Nigeria Watch

Image of Boko Haram soldiers hovering over innocents whom they slaughterd in the name of their

By Deacon Keith Fournier

These Islamic terrorists claim that when they die during their evil acts, they are martyrs. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are simply dead terrorists. They have either taken their own lives - an intrinsically evil act - or died in the commission ... continue reading

Don't forget about the people of Nigeria! Boko Haram continues to kill Christians Watch

Image of Boko Haram is the enemy of all civilization.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With all the attention focused on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, it can be easy to forget that our Catholic and other Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria also face deadly Islamic extremism on a daily basis. Militant Islam is on the march around the globe ... continue reading

Egyptian Prostitutes lure migrants into selling their organs Watch

Image of Illegal migrants are coerced to sell their organs in exchange for money or sex.


Financially desperate undocumented African migrants in Cairo have turned to selling their organs to pimps and Egypt's underground organ trade. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - <a ... continue reading

'We do not understand why this is happening to us': Christians tied up in Congo ... you won't believe what happens next! Watch

Image of At least 36 Christians have been brutally slaughtered in the Congo (Reuters).


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has seen a dramatic rise in Christian persecution, leaving at least 36 Christians hacked to death. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Herald, the North Kivu region of the DRC experienced its deadliest ... continue reading

A nation of murderers: Church is powerless to stop drug killings in Philippines Watch

Image of Drug dealers are now targets of civilians and the police under President Duarte.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Vigilantes in the Philippines are tearing the country apart by killing suspected drug dealers at whim. The Church has spoken out against these killings, which show no signs of stopping. The killings are a response to that country's president calling for mass ... continue reading

Sterile husband attacks wife with machete as punishment for not conceiving Watch

Image of Her husband was frustrated when she did not become pregnant so he chopped off her hands with a machete.


Jackline Mwende and her husband Stephen Ngila were married seven years but were unable to conceive, leading Stephen to lash out by attacking his wife with a machete. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Nation, Jackline met and married Stephen within ... continue reading

'I thank God in everything I do': Teen living in plastic bowl refuses to give up hope Watch

Image of Teen lives in bucket (Sani Maikatanga/Barcroft Image).


Rahma Haruna is a 19-year-old girl who has lived the majority of her life in a plastic bowl. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, the teen was born with an unknown condition, leaving her without limbs, constant pain and the body of a 6-month-old ... continue reading

All Africa News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:18-21
18 He went on to say, 'What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2016 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. ... Read More