Cameroon Muslims Join Christians in Christmas Prayer for Peace

By Moki Edwin Kindzeka December 25, 2020 08:38 AM

Map of Cameroon, showing the Northwest and Southwest (English-speaking) regions

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – In Cameroon, thousands of Muslims are joining Christians in churches all over the country in Christmas prayers for peace in 2021. For the annual tradition this year, the Inter-Denominational Prayer for Peace group focused on Cameroon’s troubled western regions and COVID-19.

Muslims in Cameroon joined together with Christians Friday to celebrate Christmas and offer an annual prayer for peace.  

Cheikh Oumarou Mallam is president of the Islamic Superior Council of Cameroon and a member of the Inter-Denominational Prayer for Peace group.

This year, he says, they prayed for an end to COVID-19 and peace on the border with Nigeria, where security forces have been battling the Islamist militant group Boko Haram for close to 10 years.  

Goats are being distributed in Maroua, Cameroon, July 11, 2019, as part of an empowerment initiative designed to prevent locals from being recruited by Boko Haram militants. (M. Kindzeka/VOA)

Cameroon Says Boko Haram Infiltrates Top Business and Political LeadersThe revelation came after Cameroon’s military arrested a former lawmaker for allegedly supplying cattle to the Nigerian terrorist group

Mallam says they prayed especially for an end to the separatist conflict in Cameroon’s western regions, which has left more than 3,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.  

“Be loyal to your country,” Mallam said. “Compete for goodness through social work and community service to enhance people’s lives and improve the progress of the society.  Let us be united building our nation.  Let us be united for peace, safety, security, unity, reconciliation and prosperity.”

Anglophone rebels have been fighting in the western regions since 2016 to carve out an independent state from Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.  

The separatists have destroyed symbols of the state, such as schools and bridges, as well as mosques and churches.  

Reverend Father Humphrey Tatah Mbui is director of communications at the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon’s Catholic Bishops. 

He spoke by telephone from the northwestern town of Bamenda, the capital of the troubled region.

“If there is any Cameroonian who has not learnt from the 4-year war{separatist crisis} that might, force, violence does not, will not, cannot and should not be able to solve the problem, then I wonder if that person will ever learn,” Mbui said. “What is going on is horrendous and therefore justice and peace should be the message that all of us should talk about.  We have everything to gain in peace than in war.”


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