#BreakingNews Catholic Church Attacked with 5 Priests, a Nun and 2 Lay People Kidnapped - Please Pray!

A Catholic Church, in Cameroon, Africa, named Saint Mary of Nchang was attacked by armed men on Friday, September 16th, 2022. The attackers set fire to the church and kidnapped five priests, a nun and two lay people.

Christian Kombe, SJ of  Vatican News reports that the Sainte Marie church in Nchang, in the diocese of Mamfe, was attacked and set on fire in the night by unidentified armed men. In the aftermath, the hostages were taken to an unknown destination in the forests surrounding the village of Nchang.

The bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bamenda, in the English-speaking northwest of Cameroon, have condemned the attack.

In their statement published on Saturday, September 17, the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bamenda condemned this heinous, unprecedented attack, for which no concrete reason has been given to date.

Since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis in 2016, "the people have suffered terribly and men and women of God have been easy targets of kidnappers, torturers and unscrupulous gunmen", note the bishops. These attacks are intensifying today, they point out. For the prelates, “a wave of persecution against the hierarchy of the Church is now the new game of “Struggle”, and all kinds of messages of threats are sent against the missionaries who have given up their lives to work for the people” . Beyond the Catholic Church, these attacks also target the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches in Cameroon, the statement said.

For the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bamenda, “this act has now crossed the red line and we must say that 'enough is enough'”. While strongly condemning the attack on Saint Mary's Church, they "appeal to those who kidnapped the priests, the nun and the Christians of Nchang to release them without further delay".

The prelates also invite the arsonists of the place of worship, their sponsors and supporters, to repentance.

The bishops did not fail to express their solidarity and closeness with the local Church of Mamfe and its ordinary, Bishop Aloysious Fondong, and in a particular way with the parish community of Nchang, calling on all Christians to continue to pray for the Church and all her ministers, as well as for her persecutors. “We pray for protection and at the same time for forgiveness of offenders like Christ on the Cross who prayed: 'Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing'”.

The communiqué from the provincial episcopal conference of Bamenda concludes with an appeal to "people of good will to exercise their vigilance over the temporal goods of the Church and its personnel and to protect them from the powers of the Evil One", before invoking the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.

The English-speaking regions of north-west and south-west Cameroon have been the scene of a deadly conflict that has pitted separatist fighters against the regular armed forces for five years. The Church, which supports dialogue and the path of reconciliation, is not spared from the abuses and other violence that punctuate this conflict. At the end of the Regina Cœli on Sunday April 24, and on the occasion of the national pilgrimage of Cameroonian bishops and faithful of the country to the Marian shrine of Marianberg (western Cameroon), Pope Francis had prayed and launched an appeal for the return of a "true and lasting peace" in Cameroon.

Edited from https://www.vaticannews.va/fr/eglise/news/2022-09/cameroun-les-eveques-condamnent-l-attaque-d-une-eglise-et-l-enl.html with Screenshot from CameroonNewsAgency and FB