Christianity and Islam are the two main religions in Cameroon. According to some research, approximately 70% of the population of Cameroon is at least nominally Christian, while 21% is at least nominally Moslem. Six (6%) practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs and the remaining three adhere to Judaism, the Bahai faith, or are persons who do not associate themselves with any particular religious movement.
According to the same source, the Christian population is divided between Roman Catholics (38.4% of the total population), Protestants 26.3 percent and other Christian denominations (Including Jehovah Witnesses 4 percent). Buea, the capital of the Southwest Region, for instance, is host to a score of Pentecostal churches among them Full Gospel, The Apostolic Church, Deeper life, Winners’ Chapel, Christ Embassy, Fullness of the Spirit ,Arm of the Lord Church, The Redeemed Christian Church and The True Church Of God.
I have come to realize that the message of the Bible is basically on three main ideas.
1- The message of the Bible is about a King.
2- The message of the Bible is about a Kingdom.
3- The message of the Bible is about the relationship between the King and His Kids (mankind).
From this perspective, it becomes very evident that kings, kingdoms etc are all political concepts. Kingdoms or Kings don’t exist in religions. And if these notions are all political notions, then, it will mean that the Bible is not a religious Book. The Bible is first and foremost a political document whose basic understanding has been misunderstood, misinterpreted, misrepresented and even preached. I, therefore, challenge all those who think that this world is not their home and that politics is the devil’s thing to kill themselves and leave this earth for the devil now. I believe that it is high time some of these pastors, prophets, Bishops, Apostles who parade the corridors of our towns and cities in Cameroon to seek the right way and help the weak, the poor, and the downtrodden in our nation.
I frown on the level of exploitation going on in churches in the name of prophetic seed sowing which leaves the poor poorer, more frustrated, and more confused than when he/she came to church. The Church (Ecclesia) was intended by our Creator (God) as a center for regeneration (renewal) of the mind so that humans beings can understand how to live the life of God once again. But some of these people have turned the house of God into dens of thieves in the name of God. With the multitude of “major prophets” we have in Cameroon today, Cameroon should have been the nation under serious discipline, where ministers will not embezzle with all impunity, and injustice flowing like rivers in our courts, prisons, offices, etc. I think God is still saying something as Mark Bareta will always put it.
Three reasons can, therefore, be said to explain why Pentecostal churches can have a strong say in Cameroon politics.
- Pentecostal Church has the population.
Given the fact that the population of the Pentecostal movement is increasing through some unnoticed ways, but very efficient, and given the fact that he that controls the people controls power, the Pentecostal movement in Cameroon has what it takes at this point in time to determine the doings. There is even a case in the Santa Barbara, Wokoko neighborhood where three different churches are located in the same building. In a meeting of the Association of priests of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda, that took place recently in Ombe, the Association President, Rev. Fr John Ambe, reiterated that many Catholic Christians are abandoning the faith for Pentecostal churches.
- Pentecostal Churches have modern means of communication.
We have Transformer TV, Ark of God TV, Kingship TV, Divine TV, Radio Bonne Nouvel, Gospel Radio, just to name a few. With this modern mean of mass communication, Pentecostal churches exercise a lot of influence on the majority of the population living in towns and cities in Cameroon.
- The Prophetic messages.
With the message of prosperity, healing, deliverance from evil spirits and all of God’s blessings creates more membership and cause more people to follow Pentecostal churches. There are Pentecostal churches and prophets, Apostles, Bishops Etc in Cameroon who influence dignitaries in Cameroon through their messages. If they can ask some of these government authorities to kneel down, why can’t they ask Paul Biya to resign just as Cardinal Tumi usually do? Why are they not confrontational with the evil systems in Cameroon? Are they ignorant of the power they possess to influence political decisions in Cameroon? How many of these men of God have been able to address the Cameroon government just like Prophet T.B Joshua does in SCOAN?
By Prince Ekosso