LWF Expresses Shock at Kidnapping of Cameroon Pastor

Violence from northeastern Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic is now spreading into northern Cameroon. Photo: <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbdodane/11594238253/ ">jbdodane.com</a>
Violence from northeastern Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic is now spreading into northern Cameroon. Photo: jbdodane.com

Spreading Violence is Deeply Distressing, Junge Says

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has expressed its shock over the brutal abduction of Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Cameroon pastor Rev. Jean Marcel Kesvere on 24 July 2014.

Rev.Kesvere, 45, who is married with eight children, was born in Cameroon, trained in neighboring Chad and serves the church in the northern community of Bargaram.

In a letter to the President of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of Cameroon, Rev. Robert Goyek Daga, LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge offered prayers for Rev. Kesvere and his family, the church and community he serves after hearing news of the kidnapping this week.

“We pray that in this time of worry and uncertainty you are feeling God’s loving and comforting presence ever more closely beside you. Know that you are surrounded in love and prayer from around the world,” Junge said.

Reports indicate that at least 25 people were killed in Cameroon at the end of July as suspected militant Boko Haram Islamists carried out two attacks in the far north of Cameroon. In one attack Rev. Kesvere was kidnapped at Lake Chad on the Cameroon-Nigerian border. Reports indicate it was the first kidnapping of a Cameroon church leader by the militants.

“It is deeply distressing that the violence which has gripped northeastern Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic is now spreading into northern Cameroon as well,” Junge added in his letter.

The LWF General Secretary acknowledged that the violence is an additional burden for the Sahel region, which is facing a major humanitarian situation in the face of a lack of rainfall, the influx of refugees fleeing violence in Nigeria and a cholera epidemic.

Reports indicate that Christian and Muslim leaders in the region are urging their people not to give in to fear and to stand firm in their faith and Junge said that they have the support of the worldwide Lutheran family.

“Our prayers are with you and the other pastors and people of your church, for courage, compassion and wisdom, and for being able to follow our Lord’s call to love the neighbor,” Junge said.

The LWF General Secretary said he was praying that God’s Spirit may grant the Cameroon church and its leaders, wisdom so that their words and attitudes communicate God’s incommensurable love for all of creation and for each human being.

“May both the witness of your church, and also those waiting in anticipation for word on the fate of Pastor Kesvere and other beloved ones, be sustained by this faith and this conviction during these challenging days,” Junge concluded.