Communities reconciled in Boda, Central African Republic

Pastor Jean: This place here was the ‘red line’ Christians were not allowed to cross it to enter the Muslim quarter Nor were Muslims allowed to pass into the Christian areas If you passed this line you risked death Pastor Pierre: After the training, as we had learned about forgiveness, we realised… …the need to forgive the Muslims who had harmed us We had lost many things – houses and everything we owned But when we heard the word of God, which says we should forgive our enemies… …that touched our hearts to forgive these brothers This place – this line – as soon as you crossed it… …you knew that either they’ll shoot you or take you to their headquarters We walked quietly and calmly towards them When we drew closer, the [Muslim] elders came out to the edge of the road and we greeted them We embraced each other and started showing them how much we loved them We, as pastors, mediated… …and encouraged our people to come and sell food, such as cassava, and firewood We created a small market so Christians returning from their farms… …could sell their produce and the Muslims could buy food to eat That is how we slowly tried to bring people together to reconcile Sheikh Ali Bouba: Peace was restored thanks to the pastors who set up this religious platform Protestants, Catholics and Muslims meet and talk and give advice on peace This has given us the opportunity to reconcile ourselves, eat together and celebrate peace. That was fantastic Peace has been good for both sides. Many families were separated for years because of war Now that peace is back, you can meet anew and weep together for joy about the sadness that has passed


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