There are 17 million Christians in Cameroon; they make up 61% of the population.
While Cameroon is officially a secular country, there are predominantly Muslim areas where Islamic extremism is growing. In the north, the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is a violent presence - abducting, attacking or killing Christians, as well as disrupting church activities. Women are particularly vulnerable, and in some areas, girls have been held back from going to school to keep them safe.
In other areas, security injunctions have set heavy restrictions on church activities. Strong governance is lacking in Cameroon, adding to the vulnerability faced by persecuted Christians. The ongoing Anglophone crisis – a civil war that’s been fought since 2017 – has made leaders who speak out against violence a target for separatist groups and the government.
Christians who've converted from Islam suffer persecution across Cameroon and are at great risk if they tell anyone about their new faith, or if Bibles are discovered in their possession. They face this risk both from the wider community and their immediate family. Women who convert from Islam or Animism are often forced into marriage with Muslims, and there are cases of children of Christians in the north being coerced by Muslim relatives to attend Islamic classes.
“We have stopped church services because Boko Haram terrorists make life impossible. If they come, they kill people.” a church pastor in Cameroon
Boko Haram attacks are spilling over into Cameroon from neighbouring Nigeria. Believers living in one village close to the border have stopped holding church services there because it’s not safe – they have relocated to another village further away. At dusk people leave their houses and walk into the mountains nearby to sleep, because they fear their village might be attacked overnight. Some Christians are so scared that they pack their belongings and leave the area completely.
Last year, Open Doors helped thousands of displaced Christians in the north of Cameroon with emergency aid.
Christians in Cameroon really value your prayers. “Please pray for us,” says one church leader. “We want to be able to pray from our own church. Please also pray for the people who are fleeing this region.”
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Cameroon. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors works through local partners to strengthen persecuted Christians in Cameroon by providing emergency relief aid, trauma care, economic empowerment projects and spiritual care for new believers.
Heavenly Father, may Your presence bring comfort, peace and healing to all those affected by persecution in Cameroon. Give them grace for each day, and may fresh hope emerge in their hearts. Meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who've been displaced, and provide a way for families and churches to return home. Thwart the influence of Boko Haram and stir up indignation in the hearts of government and security forces to do more to address the country's growing insecurity problems. Thank You for Your faithful church in Cameroon. Strengthen and encourage each of Your children, and may the church grow in number and love for You. Amen.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.