Catholic Bishop in Cameroon says Diocese Struggling to Survive “in a Boko Haram zone”

Bishop Barthélemy Yaouda Hourgo of Cameroon's Yagoua Diocese. Credit: ACN

The Catholic Bishop of Cameroon’s Yagoua Diocese has decried rising Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern part of the country that he says has become the epicenter of militant activities in the Central African nation.

In a Friday, February 4 report, Bishop Barthélemy Yaouda Hourgo tells the Pontifical charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Portugal, that militants are responsible for the high poverty levels in the region that is situated close to the border with Chad and Nigeria, and that the inhabitants are struggling to survive.

“The Diocese of Yagoua is in a Boko Haram zone, which explains our extreme poverty, our extreme misery,” Bishop Yaouda told ACN Portugal, and added that militants were trying to establish a caliphate in the region. 

He noted that without the support of the Pontifical charity organization that supports Church activities in regions experiencing persecution, the work of Priests and the formation of Seminarians would be very difficult.

“Without this help it would be difficult… because we come from very poor environments and people don't have the means to pay the Seminary fees for their children, we don't have the means to build churches and the Priests don't even have the means to travel in their diocese to visit the parishes, nor to dress themselves,” the Bishop of Yagoua said.


For the Catholic Bishop, the support that has been given to the Church in Cameroon through the ACN has made it possible to bridge the difficulties that arise for the very subsistence of the Clergy.

He pointed out that Mass stipends that the Diocese receives from the charity foundation allow Priests to receive an amount per month, adding, “For this, we are very grateful to the Church that Suffers and especially to the benefactors.”

ACN Portugal reports that the Northern region of Cameroon, where the Diocese of Yagoua is located, has become an epicenter of activity for Boko Haram terrorists.

Boko Haram began a reign of terror in 2009, seeking to impose, especially in Northern Nigeria, a caliphate and, to this end, launched successive attacks not only against state institutions, but also against villages, indiscriminately killing the population, kidnapping even young boys and girls and assuming the Christian community as one of the preferred targets of their violence.

ACN Portugal describes Boko Haram as “one of the most fearsome terrorist groups today”, adding that the militant group seeks to extend its attacks from Nigeria to several countries in West Africa.

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Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.