How many Christians are there in Cameroon?
There are 15.4 million Christians in Cameroon, which is 61 per cent of the population.
Why are Christians persecuted in Cameroon?
While Christianity is the majority religion of the country, attacks by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram have escalated in northern Cameroon in recent years. Radicalisation is increasing in predominantly Muslim parts of the country, while government security injunctions and the displacement of people mean that churches are not able to function properly.
“I tell the believers from a Muslim background, ‘Because Jesus suffered, His followers must also suffer.’ I tell them not to expect ease.” Abdul, a Christian convert
What’s life like for Christians in Cameroon?
When Abdul decided to leave Islam to follow Christ, he encountered severe opposition – including being kidnapped, threatened and falsely accused. He even had his food poisoned. “Locals hate someone who was a Muslim and now has become a Christian,” says Abdul. “You are nobody to them. They stop people from bringing work to me. We have many problems, and many worries. It is really by the grace of God alone that we survive.” Those who leave Islam are often threatened when Bibles or other Christian literature are found in their possession. Sharing their Christian faith, even to family members, exposes them to grave risk.
It is especially difficult to follow Jesus in the northern part of the country. Women who convert to Christianity are particularly vulnerable and can be coerced into marriage with non-Christians, as well as facing the danger of abduction by Boko Haram.
The country is also still recovering from conflict in the Anglophone region, also known as the Southern Cameroons region. This started as an insurgency for Ambazonian independence and ultimately led to 3,000 deaths and half a million people fleeing their homes, including many believers. Churches were converted to military barracks and Christian schools and hospitals were closed; 79 children were kidnapped from a church school, though thankfully were released.
How can I help Christians in Cameroon?
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 runs programmes to equip the persecuted church in Cameroon, including persecution survival training and discipleship training, leadership development and economic empowerment projects.
Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Cameroon?
Yes. Cameroon wasn’t on the World Watch List last year, but the intensification of Boko Haram attacks and the crisis in the Anglophone region have contributed to an increase in danger for those who choose to follow Jesus no matter the cost.
Lord, please protect Your children in Cameroon against attacks by Boko Haram. Please give the church unity across different denominations, that they will work together to share Your light. Give strength and encouragement to church leaders and their congregations.