Christian missionaries and Bible translators in Cameroon say they're continuing to spread God's Word to the people even as violence mounts and fears of a genocide continue to grow in the troubled African country.
Efi Tembon, the executive director of Wycliffe Associates' Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy, told Mission Network News on Monday that the French-speaking military attacks on the English-speaking southwest, which is seeking autonomy, are pushing the nation to the brink of civil war.
"It's actually like a genocide where the war is going on in one part of the country, in the English-speaking part of the country. The military has been deployed in that part of the country and they are causing horrible atrocities," Tembon said.
He said that the violence has forced 30,000 people to flee as refugees in Nigeria, while over 200,000 people have been internally displaced. A number of the victims are women and children, who are hiding in the bush without food, protection, or medical care.
Tembon revealed that military troops have burned homes and shot civilians in the southwest.
"The people decided to fight back, so they have young people who get together and form their own groups in communities to defend their communities. So they ambush soldiers, they take weapons from soldiers and when weapons are taken or a soldier is killed, then the military goes out into the community and burns the [homes] and kills more people," he added.
Wycliffe Associates' Bible translation projects have been directly affected by the unrest, and some of their local translators have been killed.
"The husband of one of our translators was shot and killed and we had to go rescue them in the forest. They were hiding in the bushes for weeks with babies and even older people," Tembon said.