"Christians in Central African Republic have been shocked by the violent
arrest on Tuesday of the president of the Evangelical Alliance of Central African Republic (CAR), Pastor Nicolas Grekoyame Gbangouon, Open Doors USA reports. Sources, who cannot be named for security reasons, told Open Doors the arrest was ordered by the acting president Michiel Djotodia through the Attorney
General. It is not clear where he is being held or what the conditions are, but
Open Doors expects him to endure harsh treatment."
Read Top Pastor's Arrest Adds to Christian Concerns in Central African Republic at Religion Today.
"Local media reported that Guerékoyamé, who is president of the CAR’s Evangelical Alliance, was questioned about remarks during a sermon in Bangui, the capital, on August 4. His comments were reportedly considered “excessive and extremist … striking a blow at the dignity of the Head of State and at the Institutions of the Transition.”
"However local sources, which remain anonymous for security reasons, said his arrest was linked to the publication of an article in which he inferred that the citizens of the CAR are being treated like slaves.
"In the July edition of Le Démocrate, the pastor called the CAR “another island of Gorée,” an island off the coast of Senegal which was a hub during the slave trade of the 19th century.
"The pastor added that he blamed the present government for the continued prevalence of theft, rape and murder, despite a recent plea by religious leaders and assurances by the president that security and stability was improving.
"Guerékoyamé is a member of the National Transitional Council (NTC), an acting parliament set up following the March military coup in which the Séléka group overthrew the regime of François Bozizé. Local media said Guerékoyamé’s immunity as a member of the NTC had not been respected.
"Our local source understands the order for the pastor’s arrest came from acting president Michel Djotodia, whose motives in overthrowing the previous government have been questioned before."