Over 2,000 People Killed, 170 Villages Burned, Military Uses Churches as Army Bases in Cameroon as Violence Escalates

Over 2,000 people have been killed and 170 villages burned in English-speaking regions of Cameroon which has halted some Bible translation efforts, a Christian leader has warned.

Violence has escalated in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions in the last 18 months, with reports of French-speaking state forces launching a string of random attacks, kidnappings, and rapes against English-speaking residents and their villages in Western Cameroon.

After English-speaking residents in the Northwest and Southwest regions protested in October 2016 demanding autonomy because they feel underrepresented in the government, violence in those communities escalated throughout 2017.

Last month, the United Nations expressed concern that the violence against those communities has only “worsened considerably” since 2017 as there have been multiple reports of detention, torture, burning down of homes and excessive use of force by state forces.

The U.N. estimates that about 21,000 people have fled to neighboring countries, while 160,000 have been internally displaced by the violence. Many are hiding in the forest.

In a recent interview with Mission Network News, Efi Tembon, the executive director of the Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy, described the state of the country.

“More than 2,000 people have been killed so far since this started, and more than 170 villages have been burned, and more than 200,000 people are displaced, and more than 100,000 people are refugees in Nigeria,” he said.

Additionally, Tembon said that the military has even killed some pastors and taken over churches to use them as military bases.

Tembon said that there are 38 Bible language projects or projects helping communities with “scripture impact” that have been impacted by the violence.

The violence has caused many of the 400 translators in the regions to be displaced. Many of them are hiding in forests and some have been killed.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith