September 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Cathedrale construction, Maroua: Bishop Bruno Ateba Edo in front of the landscape of his diocese

Christian majority in Cameroon flee Boko Haram attacks

By Clare Creegan and Antonia von Alten

More than 100,000 people have been driven out of their homes as a result of a rise in attacks on Christians by Islamist terror group Boko Haram, according a Nigerian bishop.

Bishop Bruno Ateba of Maroua-Mokolo (above) has told Aid to the Church in Need that about Christian Cameroonians have been made refugees within their own country. In Cameroon 70 percent of its 20 million citizens are Christians and the bishop described life in Cameroon as having reached a standstill since tourism declined due to the current crisis in the region.

Cameroon has experienced an onslaught of violence from Boko Haram. In July, suicide bombings in Maroua, the capital of the Far North Region of Cameroon, killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds more. The attacks were reported to have been carried out by two young girls, forced by Boko Haram to conceal a bomb under their burkas and detonate their weapons in public places.

In an appeal to international governments, Bishop Bruno said: “Help us to achieve peace. Without peace we can do nothing. The international community has all the resources to put an end to the terrorism of Boko Haram.”

In a letter to all the Faithful of his diocese, Bishop Bruno called them to pray and be watchful.

“It is important for our own security that we work together with the state authorities,” ,” he writes. “Anybody who comes across individuals who appear unfamiliar to him needs to be on his guard.”

The bishop also said it was easy for terrorists to enter the country since the border between Nigeria and Cameroon is open in many places.

During 2014, ACN provided more than £825,000 for pastoral work in Cameroon.

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