Pope in Bangui: Open the doors of mercy, counter violence with love

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BANGUI, Central African Republic (CNS) — Put down the weapons of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic.

“Even when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be ready to brave blows in this battle over which God will have the last word. And that word will be love and peace,” the pope said in an evening homily Nov. 29 at Bangui’s cathedral.

A civil war that began in 2013 and ongoing outbursts of violence, including between mainly Muslim and mainly Christian militias, have sown terror in the Central African Republic, which already was on most lists of the five poorest countries in Africa. A fifth of the country’s population has fled abroad or is living in camps for displaced people.

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