Nigeria is not the only country suffering from the terror of Boko Haram. Its neighbor, Cameroon also suffers from the violence of Islamist terror groups in the northern part of the country, according to a January 9, 2019, report by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). It is true that the organized armed attacks by Boko Haram have now decreased in the face of a united military offensive by several African countries, but there continue to be suicide bombings, murders, and abductions in the affected areas. Many people are living in fear.
The Catholic diocese of Maroua-Mokolo in the Far North Region of Cameroon faces many difficult challenges. Not only is it situated in one of the poorest parts of the country, but it also has to take in large numbers of Nigerian and Cameroonian refugees.
There is a positive side to this, however, for the people‘s faith is unbroken and despite the fear of attacks, people continue to flock into the churches. At the same time, the number of vocations is also growing. At present, there are 32 seminarians training for the priesthood in the diocesan seminary, plus another 18 youngsters at the minor seminary and four more who are studying in their so-called “propedeutic year“ – a form of educational foundation year in preparation for entering the seminary proper. This is an astonishingly high number, given that there are only around 84,000 Catholics in the diocese. Bishop Bruno Ateba Edo is naturally delighted at these vocations, but he desperately needs financial help in order to be able to give these young men a solid and thorough formation. He has asked ACN for help and we are planning to give him 27,000 Euros.