25 June 2019

Cameroon: Seeking Lasting Solutions in NW/SW Upheavals - Inter-Religious Leaders Render Peace Prayers

The leaders said prayers principally on dialogue, peace, reconciliation and social cohesion.

As part of efforts to see a return to peace in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, an interreligious prayer service was held at the Presbyterian Church Buea Station on June 22, 2019, organised by the National Council for Peace in Cameroon. The National Council for Peace in Cameroon is made up of the Council of Protestant Churches in Cameroon, Islamic Superior Council of Cameroon, National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon and the Orthodox Church of Cameroon. Designed on the theme "Christians and Muslims Together for Dialogue, Peace and Reconciliation in the North West and South West Regions," it seeks to lay a foundation in solving what has become the Anglophone crisis. The clerics offered prayers on dialogue, peace, reconciliation and social cohesion.

In a press release by the religious leaders, they condemned the rampant attacks on educational institutions and the deprivation of children of their rights to education, the manipulation of youths by various groups within Cameroon and diaspora and the use of hate speech emanating from the diaspora that encourages violence on Cameroonian people. They decried threats, blackmailing, kidnappings and extortion orchestrated by separatists. Among other things, the clerics called on the government to promptly initiate and announce a national plan for resolving the crisis, taking into account its real and profound causes, in view of establishing veritable peace.

In his homily, the President of the Islamic Superior Council, Sheikh Oumarou Mallam called on the people of both regions to prioritise the education of their children. Citing from the Holy Qu'ran, he said that Allah instructed the search of knowledge and that anybody preventing schooling is committing a crime. The Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel, President of Protestant Churches in Cameroon, indicated that if mindsets are changed and Cameroonians think of doing the right things in their best interest, reconciliation can be achieved. Bishop Abraham Kome, President of National Episcopal Conference recounted how many have been hurt in the course of the crisis and said that although sad memories are impossible to erase, he thinks healing can take place. "It takes hard work to overcome challenges," he said while indicating that they are set for work. The President of All Africa Council of Churches, Arnold Temple, recounted series of prayer sessions they have held praying for peace to reign in Cameroon.


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