Churches turned into military barracks, people killed: Cameroon Christians cry out

by Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Contributor |

(SCREENSHOT: YOUTUBE/CGTN AFRICA)Unrest in the English-speaking region in Cameroon, video from November 2018.

Cameroonian Christians are crying out against the ongoing violence in their country, where churches are being converted into military barracks and believers are forced to flee.

"We need peace and the United Nations intervention," a Methodist Christian, whose identity wasn't revealed, told Protestant Digital.

"Many people die every day, homes and villages are burned, there are famished people and also those who take refuge in Nigeria. We do not have a voice in our country."

The violence in question stems from protests in the English-speaking region of the country, where some militant groups have created the self-proclaimed Republic of Ambazonia in opposition to what they say is oppression from the French-speaking side of the country.

Hundreds of people have been killed this year, while tens of thousands have been forced to flee as refugees. Some 50 primary and secondary schools and Christian hospitals have been affected, while at least four churches have been converted into military barracks.

"The government of Ambazonia, which controls most of the Northwest and Southwest, has placed a group of soldiers in the school until the crisis is resolved," the Methodist Christian said. "There are often shootings between different forces, and a stray bullet can kill a minor."

Kidnappings have also been rife. Seventy-nine children were taken by gunmen from a Presbyterian Church school but were returned earlier in November.

"They look tired and psychologically tortured," said Fonki Samuel Forba, moderator of the country's Presbyterian Church.

The Presbyterian school said that it will close due to concerns over safety.

"It is unfortunate we have to close the school and send home 700 children," Forba said. "Their security is not assured by the state and armed groups constantly attack and kidnap them."

American missionary Charles Wesco was killed late in October when he was caught in "crossfire" between the Cameroon army and English-speaking separatist forces, the U.S. government said.

Wesco had only moved to Cameroon with his family, which includes eight children, earlier in October after selling most of his possessions in the U.S., in order to serve as missionaries with the Believers Baptist Church in Warsaw, Indiana.

Read more about Cameroonian Christians on The Christian Post.