Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
Cameroon: Boko Haram Kills 30, Torches Two Churches
Boko Haram militants killed more than 30 civilians and burned two churches in two attacks on the border towns of Amchide and Limani in northern Cameroon on Oct. 15-16. The Cameroon Minister of Defense, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o, said the heavily-armed Boko Haram members crossed the Nigerian border in armored vehicles and stormed the villages. He said the military pushed back the attack and killed 107 militants in the process while eight Cameroonian soldiers died. A resident of Amchide told Open Doors that those killed were mostly Nigerians. The churches destroyed by the rebels were the Union des Eglises Evangeliques du Cameroun (UEEC) and the Catholic Church. Cameroon shares a border of 1,240 miles with Nigeria, where Boko Haram has been waging a bloody insurgency for the past five years. The recent attack came on the heels of the Oct. 11 release of approximately 27 hostages kidnapped by Boko Haram in May and July. Also, last Friday Boko Haram killed dozens of people in several villages in the northeastern Nigerian state of Adamawa. The attacks came shortly after the Nigerian government claimed to have reached a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram and the release of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok more than six months ago. No reports this week have substantiated this claim.
Syria: Open Doors Holds Seminar for Relief Workers
Twelve men and women took time from their daily relief work in war-torn Syria to attend a three-day training seminar led by a relief expert from Open Doors. He facilitated the event in a safe location in Lebanon. The agenda included project management. He gave them tools to identify, plan, implement and report on their relief work in a more effective way. Some of the participants are leaders in their churches, while others are involved as lay-workers in relief activities within their churches. “The training encouraged them to think in a different way about how people can be assisted with relief in Syria by demonstrating a system of project management they can use in the work,” says the relief specialist from Open Doors. Open Doors is partnering with many Syrian churches, giving them the necessary money to help more than 9,000 families every month throughout Syria. Open Doors has also offered trauma awareness training and leadership training to several groups of Christians from Syria in 2014.
Tanzania: Christians Under Attack; One Killed
Unknown attackers killed a Christian man by machete and injured another in Bukoba in northwest Tanzania on Oct. 9, according to sources and reported by World Watch Monitor. This followed another recent incident on Zanzibar Island in which a pastor and his wife were attacked in their home after being threatened that they should leave the island. In Bukoba, the two men, Dioniz Ng’wandu, 31, a secondary school teacher, and a man known as Temistores, 25, were at an early morning church prayer meeting at the Busimbe Parish of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, with their pastor Faustine Joseph and a fourth man. About 30 minutes after Joseph and the fourth man left the prayer meeting, unknown attackers entered the church and killed Ng’wandu and seriously injured Temistores. Joseph told sources that church members have been receiving threats from Muslim expatriates in Bukoba, who have vowed to decrease the number of Christians in the area. Bukoba is reported to be a Muslim-dominated town of about 100,000. Ng’wandu was buried near his home in Kilimahewa, Mwana on Oct. 12. He leaves behind his wife, Faith, and two children, Michael, 4, and John, 2. Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.