On the Anglophone Crisis: Presbyterian Church, Cameroon Baptist Convention, and Catholic Bishops Issue Joint Communique at Bamenda Episcopal Conference.
On February 9th 2017, the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference was held. BaretaNews was hinted that during the session, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon and the Executive President of the Cameroon Baptist Convention visited the Archbishop of Bamenda. Seemed this was a close door meeting by the parties whose outcome was a two page joint statement on the Church’s position in the ongoing Anglophone crisis in West Cameroon.
Certainly as BaretaNews presumed, the meeting was aimed at discussing the current socio-political crisis that have left the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon paralysed since November 2016. As per the communique, the intention was not to form any association or any permanent structure but to make certain points clear to the general public amidst the ongoing socio-political unrest. As a point of focus, they laid emphasis on the following statements:
“Some authorities and people have branded Church Leaders in this part of the country as protagonists and promoters of the strike action that has crippled the schools and several areas of business and life in the North West and South West Regions. It is due to such accusations that Church Leaders have been receiving anonymous and threatening messages both from those who want the stalemate to persist and from those who will want an immediate return to the status quo.”
The Church unequivocally state that they were not the initiators of the strike action nor those to suspend the strike action. In either ways, from the start, the consent of the Church was not solicited. They further reiterated that the Church’s duty remains to serve humanity by evangelism and education. They noted that the Church is being blamed by some people for not resuming school meanwhile even government schools are yet to resume effectively. Emphasizing that since it is the duty of the Church to educate, their doors are open whenever parents decide to bring their children to school.
Importantly, they pointed the fact that the non-school resumption in Southern Cameroons is deep rooted in the socio-political issues that need to be identified and addressed sooner than later, and mindful of the fact that oppression and intimidation from the government administration in Southern Cameroons has and still continues to harden the hearts of common people. They added that the crisis has been aggravated recently due to inhuman treatments, torture, rampant arrests, the complete shutdown of the internet and consequently businesses and other services that solely depend on the internet for a smooth functioning.
Finally, they emphasised the importance of meaningful dialogue between the government and the people of Southern Cameroons and urged both contesting parties to return to constructive dialogue. As preachers of God, they called on the people to pray fervently for God’s wisdom and intervention in the situation that will bring true and lasting solutions that will guarantee justice and peace. In this regard, they prayed and hoped Cameroonians will experience the presence of God the “Prince of Peace”.
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