“We are still alive because we were in the church. Had it not been for the Stations of the Cross, we, too, would have been killed.” These were the sentiments of women market traders in Cameroon, who had gone to their local church to take part in the Stations of the Cross when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the market place, killing 20 and injuring dozens more. The attack happened on February 19, 2016, in the small town of Mémé.
Mémé is in the Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo, which is situated in the north of Cameroon, on the frontier region with Nigeria. Over and over, the Diocese continues to be the victim of attacks by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. While armed, military-style attacks by the terrorists have diminished thanks to joint military action by troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, now there are an increasing number of suicide attacks. Often it is young people, both male and female, who deliberately blow themselves up in crowded places, taking many others with them to their deaths.
Bishop Bruno Ateba Edo of Maroua-Mokolo reports that people have begun to develop a sort of psychosis, knowing that such an attack could happen at any time in any place. So far, thank God, the churches have not become the target of these attacks, but nonetheless volunteer helpers are now checking all those entering the churches for guns and explosives. Large handbags are forbidden and in smaller communities, where there is no church and people still attend Mass under a tree, the faithful join hands and form a human chain in order to prevent any outside attacker from mingling unnoticed among the congregation.
Bishop Bruno appealed to ACN for help, so that the Catholic parish in Mémè can provide comfort and support for the families of the victims and for the others injured in the attack. We were happy to promise $7,500 for this purpose.
Now we need your help. Will you join us in fulfilling this promise to provide emergency aid for family members and victims following this deadly suicide attack by Boko Haram in Cameroon?
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