Cameroon is often referred to as “Africa in miniature” due to the country’s incredible geographic, linguistic, and cultural diversity. Oil resources and agricultural potential give the country one of the stronger economies in sub-Saharan Africa; however, it still contends with many of the typical problems of underdeveloped nations. The earliest known inhabitants of Cameroon were the Pygmies, who still live in the south and east. Bantu speakers from central Africa came later, and in the 1700s, an Islamic people called the Fulani conquered a large area that includes the northern part of the country. Today, Cameroon is home to at least 230 distinct ethnolinguistic groups. French and English are the official languages, with roughly 80 percent of the country speaking French. Dominant regional languages include Ewondo in the center and Fulfulde in the North.
Seventy percent of the population identifies as Christian—a figure that can be further divided into 37 percent Roman Catholic, 30 percent Protestant, and 3 percent Jehovah’s Witnesses. Protestant churches currently face the inundation of the prosperity gospel, and many people are being drawn away by its seductive message. The 20 percent of the country identifying with Islam is based largely in the northern region, although there is a decent representation of Islam in the major cities. Many of the official religions are strongly mixed with African traditional religious beliefs, which officially comprise only 6 percent of the population’s religious identity but shapes much of the worldview and belief systems of the people of Cameroon.
In 2006, BMM missionaries Steve and Beth Gault and their family opened Cameroon and planted a church on the south side of the capital city of Yaoundé. This church has since been nationalized, and current missionaries Bryan and Heather MacPhail-Fausey and Dan and Karis Seely are working to strengthen the national church through evangelism, discipleship, and theological education.
Our ministry team is focusing on educating and equipping national leaders through discipleship, mentoring, and ministry training so that they might lead existing churches and plant new churches throughout Cameroon.
Those considering ministry in Cameroon will need to be able to
communicate in both French and English. Urban ministry also presents a
unique challenge as one will interact with people holding a wide variety
of cultural beliefs and practices that are often mixed with influences
from the West to create an eclectic mix of cultures.