YAOUNDE, CAMEROON (BosNewsLife)– A Christian advocacy and aid group has urged prayers for “traumatized” Christians in Cameroon after at least four villagers were reportedly killed by Islamic militants.
Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) said fighters of the Islamic terror group Boko Haram stormed the village of Roum in Cameroon’s Far North Region late January 16 and destroyed churches and other properties. “Residents…were abruptly awoken…as blazing fires engulfed two churches and numerous homes in their village community,” VOMC added in a statement to BosNewsLife.
“In addition to the destruction of the Union des Eglise Evangelique Church and a Catholic parish, the fire also destroyed 93 huts, 20 food storehouses, and 11 motorbikes,” VOMC noted. Near the village, a health center of the evangelical church was also attacked, Christians said.
Nigeria-based Boko Haram reportedly claimed responsibility for the violence, which followed its raids in nearby towns, including Mozogo and Moskota, BosNewsLife learned.
Christian communities in the Far North Region sharing a border with Nigeria have been most affected by Boko Haram’s suicide bombings and raids for some nine years said activists familiar with the situation.
The Islamist insurgency spilled over the border from Nigeria, killing 20,000 and uprooting nearly 3 million in the Lake Chad region, according to several estimates.
“The department of Mayo-Tsanga, which includes Mozogo and Moskota, is one of the militants’ constant targets,” VOMC explained.
In August last year, six siblings were reportedly kidnapped from Moskota during a night raid by Boko Haram. Their father, Adamu Nguda, who served as a church elder, was killed and their mother “left behind in a state of total shock,” VOMC recalled.
“Thankfully, the children, who were between the ages of three and 15 at the time, managed to escape from captivity safely. They were later found close to the country’s border near Nigeria by a group of vigilantes,” the group said.
VOMC urged its supporters to pray that “these many traumatized victims of terrorism be kept safe from any further threats or attacks.” And, it’s crucial to “Ask the Lord to lovingly minister great comfort and hope as they recover from their loss,” the group stressed.
VOMC said Christians in the region should also “receive practical assistance — such as shelter, food, transportation, places of worship — so they will know of His provision and restoration in their lives and communities.”
Church followers comprise a majority of Cameroon’s population of roughly 25 million people but are facing increasingly Islamic attacks.
Poverty also remains an issue with life expectancy low at about 55 years due to the prevalence of the AIDS virus HIV and an elevated maternal mortality rate, which has remained high since 1990, according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“Cameroon, particularly the northern region, is [also] vulnerable to food insecurity largely because of government mismanagement, corruption, high production costs, inadequate infrastructure, and natural disasters,” the agency added in a recent assessment.