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ඇස ගිය තැන්

The Protection of the Church

The Protection of the Church

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A priest comforting Muslims who took shelter in his church in the Central African Republic, Jan. 19, 2014.

Photo by ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

An intensely moving AP story from Carnot, a city in the Central African Republic:

The Christian militiamen know hundreds of Muslims are hiding here on the grounds of the Catholic church … The priests here in Carnot have given away all their money to try and keep the anti-Balaka [Christian militia] at bay. There are no aid groups here apart from a clinic operated by Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders. The Catholic church, though, is pledging to continue its work here no matter what the personal risk. “For us they are not Muslims or Christians. They are people—people in danger,” says the Rev. Dieu-Seni Bikowo.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right. Follow him on Twitter.

This is what happens in many parts of the world. Even in the midst of religious war, religious institutions provide the moral strength to contain the violence. Faith in transcendent values counters sectarian hatred.

The struggle goes on within each religion:

Already the fighters known as the anti-Balaka have brought 40 liters (10 gallons) of gasoline and threatened to burn the church to the ground. Even the Rev. Justin Nary, who takes in more Muslims by the day, knows he too is a marked man in the eyes of anti-Balaka. “Walking through town I’ve had guns pointed in my face four times,” he says. “They call my phone and say they’ll kill me once the peacekeepers are gone.”

The Rev. Bikowo rejects these fighters as representatives of his faith: “The anti-Balaka are not Christians.”

Within the protection of the church—and 30 Cameroonian peacekeepers—the Muslim refugees are free to pray:

On the grounds of the church, the men kneel on rice sacks pointed toward Mecca and whisper their prayers. [They] laugh when asked if they ever thought they would live at a church. However, they recognize the gravity of the situation that now faces them.” If it weren’t for the church and the peacekeepers, we’d all be dead,” says Mahmoud Laminou, who has been here for two weeks.

This is one reason why, despite the awful history of violence in God’s name, I don’t view religion as an enemy of progress. Religion is the form in which most people learn, express, and pursue their moral aspirations. It connects us to the idea of something higher and better in the world, in others, and in ourselves. You certainly don’t have to be religious to be a good person. But the social force that overcomes bad religion is, quite often, good religion.

About ජාතික බෞද්ධ බලවේගය

Ayubowan! The National Buddhist Authority (NBA) a well developed organizations which were officially battle against the Rascals who are in local society and who were engage as an international persons for poverty alleviation as a cover for proselytizing activity. We may put our advanced heritage presser which our ancestor did upon the peoples who dealing with converting our peoples for any other faith and Abuse (Insulting Speech) of our culture and the moral of Buddhist main concepts. We are secretly finding the necessary static data and also exploring entrench area and giving an “ON THE SPOT” action without thinking difficulty or danger that must be rise within sound of whom think that converting to their faith is fundamental right in our “Dhrama Dveepa”. Regarding need ness of the case we will report in writing with dates, place name or persons involved and all cases of abuse or illegal activities in the name of a religion or faith and first and last attempted to convert persons in Sri-Lanka to Buddhist organizations, temple, nearest Police Station, Grama Niladari and other local authority as well as presidency level. National Buddhist Authority eager to call upon all Sinhalese Buddhist organizations(International too) to join hands in a Endeavour to defeat the proselytizing efforts of sponsored evangelical and other NGO organizations and thereby to guard the Sinhalese Buddhist culture and tradition for posterity, Relating to their fantasy book,Fantasy Story David did killed the philistine champion who named as Goliath, then all of us too cannot fail. NOTE: This cite is not aimed at or against Christians Or Muslims or Any Other faith Holders.This site is aimed against Christians,Muslim or who ever seek or want to convert Buddhist to Christianity or Muslim or other goodish doctrine. We Buddhist refer to them as "missionaries." We Buddhist respect Christians or Muslim or other followers who maintain the doctrines of their belief, but we do not accept anyone's "right" to proselytize.

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