Pentecostal pastors pressure Cameroon’s president to extend decades’ rule
A group of Pentecostal pastors in Cameroon have “pressured” for an extension of the 34-year rule by Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, according to a signed letter officially published Tuesday, 2nd August 2016 in the state-run newspaper, Cameroon Tribune.
Most of the names endorsing the 83-year-old leader appear to be from the French-speaking regions in the West African nation, Cameroon. However, critics have been quick to rubbish the move, arguing that a marriage between religion and politics ruins governance, democratic accountability and the rule of law.
“In Botswana, the church was instrumental in speeding up democratic processes. They assisted in holding leaders accountable and pushing forth good governance policies. In Cameroon, it is the opposite. Religion and politics marry, and pastors and priests bless their union on the altar,” Fai Pontius says.
“I will never go to church again. It is unacceptable,” Moh Cletus tells me on Facebook.
But others claimed pastors and priests have the right to participate in politics because they are citizens. “Give to Biya what belongs to Biya and to God what belongs to God,” a Facebook user told me on grounds of anonymity.
In 2013, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya ordered the closure of nearly 100 Christian churches in key cities, citing criminal practices organized by Pentecostal pastors that threaten the security of the state. Biya used the military to permanently shut down all Pentecostal church denominations in the nation’s capital that were not registered.
Security analysts dismissed Biya’s actions as a “ploy” to seal up lips that speak against the regime in churches. More than 500 Pentecostal churches operate in Cameroon, but fewer than 50 are legal, according to state reports.
In 2018, Biya would be running for another term in office despite growing discontent about his heavy-handed rule of his citizens.
By Tapang Ivo Tanku
Culled for BaretaNews