How many Christians are there in Cameroon?
There are 17.6 million Christians in Cameroon; they make up around 62% of the population.
How are Christians persecuted in Cameroon?
The spread of Islamic extremist ideology continues to accelerate, particularly in the country’s northern areas with a heavy Muslim population. This means that conversion from Islam to Christianity is more dangerous than ever. In these parts of Cameroon, new converts are often forced to practise their faith in secret, and owning Bibles or any Christian literature can lead to threats and aggression. Revealing their faith in Jesus to family members or the community places converts at significant risk.
The looming threat of Boko Haram and ISWAP in the Far North is also an ongoing concern. Christians in this part of Cameroon face the possibility of abduction, sexual violence, forced displacement and death. Additionally, church activities have been severely disrupted – many churches are unable to function due to attacks and displacement, along with government pressure.
Political instability is also a concern for believers. Ongoing fighting between the government and rebel groups has affected the church, with some rebel groups targeting Christians. And the humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) has created an ongoing state of upheaval. Many Christians from CAR have fled and sought refuge in Cameroon. This creates new hardships for believers among the refugees and for Christians already in Cameroon, as they seek to follow Jesus despite the chaos of ongoing conflict.
“The Word of God is the source of my hope and strength. Boko Haram took my happiness away when they burned my Bible.” Rukayyatu, whose village was attacked by Boko Haram
What’s life like for Christians in Cameroon?
Where 32-year-old Rukayyatu* lives in the country’s Far North region, attacks against Christians are so violent and frequent that some families leave their homes at night to sleep in the forest.
Rukayyatu’s village in Tourou was attacked by extremist group Boko Haram and they set fire to everything: her home, the family’s fields – and her cherished Bible. “The Word of God is the source of my hope and strength,” she says. “Boko Haram took my happiness away when they burned my Bible.” Before the attack, Rukayyatu and her husband were subsistence farmers, living off crops their land produced. Now, she and their six children live in a camp for internally displaced people, while her husband moved to the south to work, trying to provide for the family.
Thanks to your prayers and support, local Open Doors partners were able to help provide living essentials for the family – and a brand-new Bible.
Rukkayatu is delighted. “When I am in trouble and feel discouraged, I hold my Bible to my chest, and I have peace,” she says. “Nothing is more precious than the Bible among all we have received. Therefore, I thank you for this love you have shown.”
*Name changed for security reasons
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 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.
Dear Father, we lift up our brothers and sisters who risk so much to follow You in Cameroon. We pray for those in the Far North region who live under the constant risk of violence – please protect our sisters from sexual violence and abduction and our brothers from attacks and death. We ask You to bring about a change in the hearts of the militants, that even members of Boko Haram and the Islamic State group would see the truth of Jesus’ love and hope. We also ask for improvement in Cameroon’s political situation; please bring peace between warring factions and root out corruption. Please pour Your hope and comfort on all of Your children affected by violence and pressure. In Jesus’ name, Amen.