Catholic Bishops in Cameroon Decry Rise in Domestic Violence, Urge Respect for Human Life

Catholic Bishops in Cameroon and their close collaborators at the headquarters of NECC in Yaounde. Credit: NECC

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) have expressed concern about the increase in cases of domestic violence in the Central African nation and have urged citizens to respect the dignity of human life.

“We wish to express our deepest concern at the increase in cases of violence by some Cameroonians, especially towards women,” NECC President, Bishop Abraham Boualo Kome, said Tuesday, April 26.

Speaking at the start of the 47th Plenary Assembly of NECC in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, Bishop Kome said, “These barbaric behaviors must be considered unacceptable and reprimanded in the strongest possible way, especially when they result in the death of the victims, as was the case on the 19th of this month in Bepanda, Douala.”

On April 19, a 35-year-old lady lost her life after she was violently beaten by her husband, following a misunderstanding in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, CameroonWeb reported.

Last year, Cameroon’s Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Marie Thérèse Abena Ondoa, issued a statement inviting women to denounce cases of domestic violence.


“To the survivors of violence, I ask them to break the silence, to speak about the violence they suffer on a daily basis in order to receive appropriate support,” the Minister said in his June 2021 message.

She emphasized, “The life of every human being is sacred and whatever the circumstances and reasons, nothing should lead us to take the life of another.”

In his April 26 address on behalf of NECC members, Bishop Kome expressed “their deepest sympathy and prayers to the families of the victims” of domestic violence in Cameroon.

“Behind this violence, the question of the weakening of education in values such as the sacredness of life and the respect of human dignity challenges the whole society,” Bishop Kome said.

NECC members also expressed concern about “soaring prices of basic necessities and the promotion of tribalism aimed at pitting the poor against each other.”

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“We ask all the living forces of our country not to underestimate the discontent of the great majority of our compatriots who, in a deaf or active way, express their legitimate thirst for life,” NECC President said.

He added, “Let us remember, with Luke 12:13, how strong and united families can be when it comes to sharing inheritances. May our prayer contribute to making our Nation tend, in a more determined way, towards this type of community of which St. Luke speaks to us, where there was one heart, putting everything in common so that no one would be in need.”

The Local Ordinary of Bafang Diocese further said that it is precisely in relation to this thirst for life, for living in peace, that the Catholic Bishops invited the Church in Cameroon, as well as all men and women of goodwill, to converge in Marienberg last Sunday for a national pilgrimage and prayer for peace.

“We believe that we have drawn from prayer what seems so difficult to obtain by human forces alone: peace in the hearts and in the regions of the North-West, South-West, and Extreme-North,” Bishop Kome said.

The 52-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Bafang Diocese since July 2012 continued, “We are convinced that this prayer in Marienberg will inspire new initiatives for a united Cameroon, both in its geographical space and in the enjoyment of the goods that are common to us.”  


The April 24-30 Plenary Assembly is expected to review the activities of 14 commissions of NECC.

Reflecting on some of the issues to be discussed, Bishop Kome said, “The need for co-responsibility in the Church, explicitly promoted by the Second Vatican Council and particularly refreshed under the pontificate of our Holy Father Francis, has recently set us on the path of a Synod on synodality.” 

“The feedback from the grassroots of our Dioceses has been meticulously collected and transmitted to the National Committee set up for the cause,” the Cameroonian Catholic Bishop said.

In addition to the work with the Commissions, Bishop Kome said, “We will focus on the summary work of this Committee, in order to assume it collegially as the contribution of our Conference to the expectation of the Universal Church.”

“We will also take an interest in the activities of the Bible Society, in order to appreciate the state of our collaboration and the points of achievement in the popularization of the Bible in our country,” he said.

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During their Plenary Assembly, NECC members are expected to express “our deepest affection and communion with our Holy Father, praying for him, together with our Apostolic Nuncio, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his election as Bishop of Rome,” Bishop Kome said. 

He implored, “May the Virgin Mary support our reflections and our prayers; may she also obtain for us the ability to make these moments a beautiful opportunity to strengthen our fraternity.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.