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Catholic church burned, priests and religious sister kidnapped in war-torn Cameroon

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

Displaced people fleeing the war in Cameroon / Public Domain

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 18, 2022 / 13:10 pm (CNA).

Gunmen set a Catholic church on fire and kidnapped five priests, one religious sister and two lay people in western Cameroon, where a civil war has been raging since 2017.

The Catholic bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province released a statement following the September 16 attack on St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Nchang, Mamfe Diocese.

“It was with great shock and utter horror that we, the Bishops (of the BAPEC) learned of the burning down of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Nchang… and the kidnapping of five priests, one religious sister and two lay faithful by unknown gunmen,” the statement said.

The bishops said they “strongly condemn all these attacks against the Church and her Ministers and we appeal to those who have taken the priests, the nun and the Christians in Nchang to release them without further delay.”

“We insist on this because this act has now crossed the red line and we must say that ‘enough is enough,'” read the statement.

Cameroon has been embroiled in a civil war known as the “Anglophone Crisis” in which armed separatists from the Anglophone regions of the country in the Northwest and Southwest have taken part in an uprising against government forces. Both sides have been accused of atrocities, including the murder and torture of civilians.

The conflict has killed thousands and displaced as many as 500,000 since 2014.

On September 6 suspected militant separatists opened fire on a bus in Muyuka, killing at least six civilians.

In their statement, the bishops said that the Catholic church has increasingly been targeted by attackers.

“A wave of persecutions against the hierarchy of the Church is now the new game of the “Struggle,” and all kinds of threat messages are sent out against missionaries who have surrendered their lives to work for the people,” read the bishops’ statement which noted that Presbyterian and Baptist churches have also been targeted.

About two-thirds of Cameroonians practice Christianity, while 25-30% are Muslim.

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  1. Since Pope Francis has ok’d the world of many religions…these Catholics are under no obligation to remain Catholic in the face of life threatening oppression
    In fact they have no one supporting their decision to face such consequences
    Not to say this is in any way good but it us a consequence of pluralism…ie. just pick the easy one.

  2. I think the Pope should call for and organize a Crusade. This war against Catholics has to stop. (I will not hold my breath, waiting for this to happen.)

  3. And not a peek from the secular press. Nor has there been ant reporting about the many attacks and vandalism of churches in places like France. I will bet that the vast majority of reporters have never set foot in a church, hence their morally bankrupt state, which is so apparent in their “work”. Or, lack of it. Sad.

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