OVERVIEW: Boko Haram has been regrouping in Nigeria, and increasing attacks there have correlated with increasing attacks in Cameroon. Boko Haram’s previous incursions into Cameroon had not been well organized, but recent, organized attacks have specifically targeted churches and Christians activity. In a typical attack, Christians are killed, churches burned, homes destroyed and Christians displaced. Several Christian villages have been abandoned completely after suffering repeated attacks. From January 2018 to November 2019, seven predominantly Christian villages were attacked in one northern region. The attackers killed 10 people and kidnapped 7 others, while burning 575 houses, 7 churches, 2 schools and 1 evangelical hospital.
MAJOR RELIGION: Cameroon is a majority-Christian country.
PERSECUTOR: The main persecutor is the Boko haram Islamist terrorist group.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN CAMEROON: Most of Cameroon has a thriving Christian presence and many churches. But Christians living along the Nigerian border have experienced repeated, brutal attacks by Boko Haram. In these villages 50 to 80 miles from the border, men, women and children are attacked simply for being known as Christians.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: Bibles are generally available but distributing them in the north is challenging because of security issues. Many people cannot afford a Bible and would prefer the Scripture in a local language rather than French or English. Bible translation ministries have done great work translating the Bible into local languages, such as the local Fulani dialect, in both Roman and Arabic script.
VOM WORK: VOM is providing relief and trauma-healing workshops for displaced Christians in northern Cameroon who have fled their villages due to attacks by Boko Haram.
VOM also supports pastors and evangelists who are ministering in areas targeted by Boko Haram.