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A century after evangelization, significant growth for Church in Cameroon

Catholic World News - May 28, 2014

Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua of Bamenda, one of Cameroon’s largest cities, recounted the significant growth of his diocese a century after German missionaries evangelized the region.

Following World War I, the area lacked priests until English missionaries arrived in 1922. The area is now 20% Catholic.

“We place great emphasis on inculturation of faith in our apostolic activities, in particular the translation of the Scriptures into local languages” the prelate said, according to a Fides news agency report.

“Also our activities of human and social promotion help us in the first evangelization,” he added. “We have 145 primary schools with 26,000 pupils, 13 secondary schools with 7,000-8,000 students, some institutes for professional formation, plus the Catholic university that opened its doors four years ago. With regards to health care we have 17 health centers and two hospitals.”

The west-central African nation of 21 million is 26% Catholic, 14% Protestant, and 20% Muslim; 40% practice indigenous religions.

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