What does persecution look like in Cameroon?
In Cameroon, those who convert to Christianity from Islam are not free to express or share their faith, and doing so can bring hostility from family and the local community. They are at great risk if they are even discovered to own a Bible. Meanwhile, the influence of Islamic militants, particularly in the north, has hindered the activities of many churches. Security injunctions have also heavily restricted church life.
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. Some of the leaders of the rebel groups also force churches to pay taxes for their protections. While Cameroon is officially a secular country, there are predominantly Muslim areas where Islamic extremism continues to grow. Good governance is lacking in Cameroon, adding to the vulnerability faced by persecuted Christians.
Christians who convert from Islam are especially susceptible to persecution, as are believers who live where Islamic militants Boko Haram are active (in the far north) and where the Anglophone crisis is located (in the northwest and southwest).
"We have stopped church services, because Boko Haram terrorists make life impossible. If they come, they kill people. So, we decided to have church services somewhere else. Please pray for us. We want to be able to pray from our own church. "
What has changed this year?
Islamic militants Boko Haram remain a serious threat, and continue to target Christians in the north of Cameroon. The civil war in the western part of the country also affects Christians, as the rebel group forces churches to pay protection money and threatens them if they speak against the misdeeds of the rebel group. The government maintains its pressure on Christians, and it is not safe for Christian leaders to criticise the human rights conditions or corruption in Cameroon.
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Cameroon?
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.
How can you pray for Cameroon?
- Please pray that the government and security forces in Cameroon will be stirred and equipped to address the country's growing insecurity problems
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will pour comfort and hope into those severely traumatised by attacks
- Pray that church leaders and Open Doors local partners will be strengthened as they serve those affected by persecution.
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. Quench the influence of Boko Haram and bring resolution to the Anglophone crisis. 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.