Bishop Magro added that the Catholic Church was determined to “remain with the people,” despite continued clashes between Islamist fighters and government-allied forces.
“As a Church, we’re doing all we can to look after the spiritual needs of our faithful, and sometimes their material needs as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, Father Baranquel said the Muslim Red Crescent charity had earned the trust of Christians through its efforts to help, but added that local officials seemed powerless to influence the situation.
“Everyone is asking what will happen. But there are now two governments, so we don’t know who’s running the country and don’t see any way out,” he said.
“For now, we’re trapped and helpless here and needing help from someone who can intervene and negotiate for us. But who are they supposed to speak to? Until we know, all we can do is pray.”