Cameroon: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Douala
Evangelization campaigns and ecumenical celebrations of the Word have been organised in the Archdiocese of Douala and several other Dioceses of Cameroon. A new development is the growing number of Christians forming and meeting on social networks to pray together.
The ecumenical activities organised in Douala to mark the 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity were inaugurated by Father Michael Tchoumbou, a priest of the Archdiocese of Douala. He is the head of the Diocesan Commission for Biblical, Pastoral Care and Ecumenism ministries.
Catholics, Evangelists - we live together
Promoting Scripture and common prayer are the two significant points marking this week's ecumenical celebrations in Douala.
During the week, celebrations of the Word are taking place in Catholic, Presbyterian, Evangelical and Methodist Churches, with the support of the pastors of these different Churches. The Word of God unites various Christians.
"The Week of Prayer for Christian unity is both spiritual and prophetic for us here in Cameroon because we live together in the same communities: Catholics, Evangelists, Baptists ... we all live together and share similar problems every day. It is, therefore, important that we work together to solve all these problems," said Father Tchoumbou.
The priest of Douala is convinced that Christians in Cameroon can bring a common and united voice that would contribute significantly to the country's development and unity. It can also foster justice and peace concerns in the country.
Do good, seek justice
The worldwide theme for this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is, Do good; seek justice.
The week is thus a time to develop a shared Christian vision while encouraging people to live together and open up the possibility of "doing good deeds for justice and the common good," said Father Tchoumbou.
Coming together on social media
On Cameroonian social networks, associations are being set up to share the Word of God and carry out joint charitable actions in favour of the poor and vulnerable. An example of this, is the case of a group of former students of the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC) led by Didier Tchoumela. They decided to live the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as intensely as possible.
For Sister Marie Simone Tamtabi, a member of this group, many young people from other denominations, including some who do not belong to any religion, have been motivated to come together simply with the idea of doing good.
"Our wish to do good is above everything else... So, we said to ourselves that there is something to do in this world, and religion should not be a barrier," she said. "In the association, we have those in a position to provide material resources that we donate to the poor and vulnerable. Others have been giving their time in teaching classes. We also have doctors who are providing free medical care esepcially to children," Sister Tamtabi testified.
Stanislas Kambashi, SJ - Vatican City with Paule Valérie Mendogo - Edea, Cameroon