How many Christians are there in Cameroon?
There are 16.4 million Christians in Cameroon. They make up 62 per cent of the population.
How are Christians persecuted in Cameroon?
While Cameroon is officially a secular country, there are predominantly Muslim areas where Islamic extremism is growing. In the north, the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is a violent presence - abducting, attacking or killing Christians, as well as disrupting church activities. In other areas, security injunctions have set heavy restrictions on church activities. Strong governance is lacking in Cameroon, adding to the vulnerability faced by persecuted Christians.
Christians who've converted from Islam suffer persecution across Cameroon, and are at great risk if they tell anyone about their new faith, or if Bibles are discovered in their possession. They face this risk both from the wider community and their immediate family. Women who convert from Islam or Animism are often forced into marriage with Muslims, and there are cases of children of Christians in the north being coerced by Muslim relatives to attend Islamic classes.
“I need God to stay with me in every situation, to do His wonderful power in my life.” Fadi's sister was kidnapped by Boko Haram, and Fadi has had to flee her home repeatedly
What’s life like for Christians in Cameroon?
Fadi is a Christian from the Far North region of Cameroon, where violent attacks by Islamist extremists have displaced her from her home not just once, but several times.
“They burnt all the houses of people. They carried off many properties of the people. So we fled,” she recalls. “They came in the night again. They came and burnt the churches. They killed – even, I cannot count the people that they have killed there.”
For Fadi and many Christians like her, the threat of attacks by night was so constant that they began sleeping not at home, but in the mountains above the village. But even during the day, villagers have been assaulted and kidnapped as they farmed their land. Tragically, Fadi’s younger sister was among those taken by Boko Haram in 2015.
Fadi now lives in yet another town, which is where Open Doors partners recently met her. Thanks to your prayers and support, she is among those who receiving much-needed emergency aid.
Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Cameroon?
Cameroon has dropped a couple of places in the World Watch List, but the persecution score is one point higher than last year. Boko Haram attacks continue to bring grief and destruction. While there was a slight decrease in reported incidents of violence, it remains at an extreme level. The spread of Islamic extremist violence in Cameroon has also affected church life, with security injunctions and displaced believers among reasons why churches are unable to operate and flourish.
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 practical and spiritual care for new believers.
Heavenly Father, please extend Your loving arms to Christians in the north of Cameroon who are grieving, traumatised or vulnerable. Show them Your tender care, and protect them from further violence. May they know Your peace that passes understanding. Give wisdom to church leaders and Open Doors partners as they minister to those who are suffering so much because they love You. Amen.