There are 15.9 million Christians in Cameroon. They make up 61.3 per cent of the population.
In the north, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is active and has kidnapped and killed Christians for their faith. Female converts from Islam are often forced into marriage with non-Christians, and Christian women also face the danger of abduction by Boko Haram.
In areas where Boko Haram is active, church activities have been hindered or disturbed. Due to the displacement of people, churches have not been able to function normally in those parts of the country. In other areas, security injunctions have set heavy restrictions on church activities.
It’s very difficult for Muslims who want to convert to Christianity. They are not free to express their faith or Christian beliefs – even to immediate family – because doing so exposes them to the risk of violent responses from their community.
“The attacks are incessant. In the evening, we go to the mountains to sleep, and in the morning we return to the village to work. That is how we live now because our homes are not safe.” Samuel
Dada and her husband Patou lived in the far north region of Cameroon, close to the Nigerian border that has been plagued by Boko Haram violence. Every now and again, the family was forced to join other villagers as they ran for their lives into the mountains, leaving behind everything in their homes for the Islamic radicals to plunder.
Sadly, Patou contracted malaria and died. He was 49. Dada had no idea how she would provide for her eight children. She was still coming to terms with losing her husband when Boko Haram returned. They took everything of value.
The increasing violence across Cameroon by Islamic extremist groups like Boko Haram means that widows like Dada are even more vulnerable to persecution. With no breadwinner in the family, they are often left destitute and at the mercy of Islamic militant violence.
Thanks to your prayers and support, Dada was provided with financial aid to help her in the immediate moment. Open Doors partners are committed to setting her up with a sustainable source of income through an income-generation project as soon as possible. “You have helped me very much with this sum of money,” Dada says. “May God bless you and may God help you in your service. May God bless you all immensely.”
Yes – persecution has increased across the country in every sphere of life, such as family and church. Violence has also increased. Consequently, Cameroon has risen by six places in this year’s World Watch List.
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 with local partners to strengthen persecuted Christians in Cameroon through persecution survival training, trauma care, discipleship training and economic empowerment projects.
Lord God, we ask You to keep our sisters and brothers in Cameroon safe from harm. We ask particularly that You would spare them from violent attacks at the hands of Boko Haram. We pray You would change the hearts of Islamic extremists, that their sinful deeds would be overwhelmed by Your love and grace. We pray you would give hope and joy to Your people in Cameroon. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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