The Interfaith Peace Platform, led by the top Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim clerics in the Central African Republic, has received the 2015 Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize in recognition of their promotion of peace in the conflict-torn nation.
“We warned the people of the manipulation of religion for political ends,” Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui said in an interview with Caritas Internationalis. “We denounced the misappropriation of religion. We are men of words and not force.”
Speaking on the current situation in the nation, which Pope Francis will visit in November, he added:
Calm is gradually returning to hearts and minds. Young people have gone back to school. Activities are resuming slowly. But the armed groups have kept their weapons. The planned disarmament has not yet begun. We are sitting on a hot potato that can burst without warning. It’s a precarious peace. The potential for armed groups to cause problems remains. The people glare at each other like angry dogs.