The Catholic Church in Cameroon has again been hit by the ongoing crisis in the country’s English-Speaking Regions. This time it is the death of one of its Priests, who is reported to have died from gunshot wounds.
From the start of the current crisis, the Catholic church has not been far from centre of the brewing storm. As a major education provider, the Catholic Church faced serious challenges when civil disobedience at the start of the struggle used school boycotts as a way of pressuring the Regime in Yaounde. Things first got bloody when Bishop Balla was murdered.
Following Dictator Paul Biya’s Visit to the Vatican, the Pope came under fire first, for accepting to meet with him, and secondly, for his remarks, caught on video, in which he tells Biya to go and “continue in the path of peace“. Whatever the Pope meant by the ‘path of peace’, Biya might have understood it in a completely different light, as no sooner had he returned to Cameroon, did the strongman resort to a crackdown, not known before in the country. A violent response from separatist fighters in Cameroon has led to the escalation of the conflict, with many commentators blaming both sides of gross human rights violations.
As the Bishops of the Archdiocese of Bamenda, were trying to counter rumours by a blogger that they were helping the regime, the Diocese of Buea has been hit by the news of the untimely death of Fr. Sob Alexander, who was killed today in Muyuka in the South West Region. It is not clear as yet, who could have committed the act, but it could be anyone from the military, separatist fighters or armed robbers, who now operate with impunity as the security apparatus continues to disintegrate.
Fr. Sob Alexander is just one of the thousands who have been killed in the crisis, that seems to be intensifying, with no end in sight, and no signs of an amicable resolution.
Maybe, with the storms hitting the Catholic Church, it might be time the institution stands up to its creed of being the voice of the voiceless and challenge the barbaric regime of Biya and its intransigence in resolving the current crisis. As Biya is nominally a Catholic Christian, the leaders of the Church can speak to him as one of their flock, and this would not count as meddling into politics… Though this is not to say, that the Church can be immune from political interventions, given that it is on politics that the foundations of Christianity were laid.