Christians of some churches in the North West and South West regions have expressed their surprise with today’s messages preached in their respective houses of worship.
With the central message of Christmas being reconciliation and forgiveness, many say they expected peace to be the central theme of today’s word in their houses of worship. While some preachers and leaders dwelled on it, others are said to have completely avoided talking about the Anglophone Crisis altogether, much to the surprise of their flock.
While the reason for this surprising decision by some spiritual leaders is unknown, it is speculated that some did so for fear of their lives. It should be recalled the situation was different months back when prelates made powerful statements on the anglophone crisis without fear or favour.
Since the Anglophone crisis morphed into an armed conflict, religious figures have been targeted several times by both parties with some losing their lives in the process.
One of such was former Catholic Education Secretary, Parish Priest of the Catholic Church in Bomaka, Buea, Rev Fr Alexander Nougi Sob who was shot in July last year.
Earlier in March of last year, Reverend Kepsi Peter of PC Baramban, Batibo was found lying in his own pool of blood with bullet wounds.
In a pastoral letter on November 10, Bishop Andrew Nkea of the Mamfe diocese who has been documenting atrocities on the church, noted that amba boys and the military were making work hard for priests in the area. He went as far as withdrawing priests from the Kembong, Ossing and Eyumojock parishes citing the insecurity they face.
The action he added will “hold good for any other parish where the people decide to harass their priests”.
This was shortly after the abduction of Father Felix Sunday, parish priest of Afap. In the letter, Bishop Nkea warned that “touching the anointed one of God never goes without guilt and this guilt follows such a person right into the grave”.
Despite being condemned several times, attacks on churches and clergymen in the Anglophone regions have persisted, leaving Christians and their leaders in a state of uncertainty and fear.