Churches within the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have become empty as most of their Christians who used to be active members have all moved to Douala, Yaoundé and some French speaking regions of Cameroon for fear of either being killed by Cameroon Military or being kidnapped by some arm groups impersonating as Anglophone Separatist fighters.
Towns and villages in the Anglophone Regions have all become empty and everyday hundreds of people leave the regions to safer areas which according to them is better than staying in a region which has now become more dangerous than Syria and Afghanistan.
Crusades and mid-week services which used to be sources of revenue for churches seem to have gone into extinction because of the ongoing war of independence of the former British Southern Cameroon against national Unity of the Republic of Cameroon which according to the Cameroon government is none negotiable.
Churches that used to have 300 active Christians in 2017, can now only boast of 50 Christians among which 30 are not even certain to stay within the regions by the end of September 2018 for fear of the unknown as the battle for independence of the former British Southern Cameroon against the Republic of Cameroon National Unity intensifies.
In Buea to be more precise most these new churches have shut down because of the lack of Christians while some pastors and their families have all abandoned their churches to the few Christians to fight on their own while others have moved to Douala to continue with their church business because of the population increased.
Even the Roman Catholic Churches that used to be seen as the most populated church within the Anglophone Regions with about three different masses per Sunday are now struggling to have Christians to even a mass.
Talking to TNN, some pastors explained how this crisis is now affecting their church activities
“I must say that this crisis have caused all of our members to run away to Douala, we used to have about 100 Christians in the early 2018 that is in February but I must say that now like this we are now talking of 13 -16 which there are even some Sundays that we will have not up to 10 especially weekends that have shootings between the military and the Separatist fighters.
Last week Sunday only my Wife and I and some two Christians made it to church, so you can see how we are affected by the crisis. We don’t longer hold crusade for fear of in security.
Life have become so difficult to my family and I, and we are thinking of shutting down the church to move to Douala because we are not even safe here in Muea” Pastor Mukete Augustine of City of Light International told TNN
“You know we pastors we don’t have salaries we depend on free will donations and seeds sowing, tithes and offerings from Christians but now it is difficult to even have offerings because the Christians are not even there and the few that are even in Muea could barely have food to eat not to talk of giving offering, even coming to church to them now seem challenging because of fear of MR. Stray bullets.
I spoke with some of my colleagues from different churches in Ekona, Muyuka and Bombe Bankundu some of them told me that they have shut down their churches because of insecurity which has forced the Christians to migrate to the bushes and some to Douala and some French Regions. You can see that it is not easy” Pastor Mukete Augustine of City of Light International concluded
From the beginning of this crisis Schools were seen as the only sector within the Anglophone regions that were under financial crisis as private school teachers have been experiencing scarcity of salaries while the Salaries of government school teachers are capital for ransom payment due to the escalating nature of the crisis whose epicenter is based on “operation no school” in the Anglophone regions but now the church has greatly being hit by the ongoing crisis which has paralyzed businesses in the Anglophone Regions .