In Cameroon, thousands of Muslims are joining Christians in churches all over the country in Christmas prayers for peace in 2021. For the annual tradition this year, the Inter-Denominational Prayer for Peace group focused on Cameroon’s troubled western regions and COVID-19.
Muslims in Cameroon joined together with Christians Friday to celebrate Christmas and offer an annual prayer for peace.
Cheikh Oumarou Mallam is president of the Islamic Superior Council of Cameroon and this year, he says, they prayed for an end to COVID-19 and peace on the border with Nigeria, where security forces have been battling the Islamist militant group Boko Haram for close to 10 years.
Mallam says they prayed especially for an end to the separatist conflict in Cameroon’s western regions, which has left more than 3,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Anglophone rebels have been fighting in the western regions since 2016 to carve out an independent state from Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.
The separatists have destroyed symbols of the state, such as schools and bridges, as well as mosques and churches.
Far from the separatist conflict, the focus is on another battle – to defeat COVID-19.
Cameroon has confirmed nearly 26,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 400 deaths since the first case in March.