Christianity crackdown: Sultan appointment sparking outrage in Christian region
In June, Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the Chads Minister of Territorial Administration, designated Mahamat Moussa Bezo as the sultan of Sarh, the regional capital.
The appointment in the south of this country, which is home to Animists and Christians, has caused fury and amid fears that the new leader would have a negative impact on their traditional life.
Many local citizens worry that the new leader, who will have more power than the current Supreme Chief of the region, might enhance the separation of Animists and Christians in a country where Muslims account for the largest part.
In the Animism tradition, creatures, sites, and objects are believed to possess a definite spiritual feature.
With approximately 35% of Chads population, Christians charged the government with appointing a new Sultan on a Sunday morning, which made everyone surprising.
An anonymous local citizen said that the announcement followed a ceremony nominating the new government of the regional capital.
According to a local church leader, the authorities organized everything on a Sunday, fully understanding that Christians might be worshipping in churches and missing this event.
And even nobody at the announcement was informed in advance that Ahmat Mahamat Bachir had such a plan.
Nobo Ndjibo, the member of parliament for Sarh, criticized the designation as a possible threat to other religious communities.
He said: “We can’t have a leader appointed as the sultan in a neighborhood that mainly consists of Animists and Christians”.
“The Sultan will be the protector of our customs and habits or a real threat to our traditional communities?”
“We don’t want this event to mark the beginning of a tumultuous period”.
In Muslim traditions, Sultan is a major title that has religious importance is often appointed to a Muslim leader.
Altough this appointment comes 2 years after its first announcement, the execution must be ceased following vehement diatribes from local communities accusing the candidate of not having a royal bloodline, thus making him not eligible for the leading position.
More importantly, they claimed that a sultan is unnecessary as they are now having a Supreme Chief.
It was not until several months ago that the dispute over the appointment was reignited when the local MPs from different political parties wrote to Idriss Dby, Chads President, about the potential threat.
The Minister of Territorial Administration refuted the claim that the appointment was illegal and said that this decree can be applied.
He also claimed that the authorities would challenge those oppositions with litigation to prevent any anarchical conducts from progressing.