The Holy Archdiocese of Cameroon includes the nations of Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and the Islands of St. Thomas and Principe.
Orthodoxwiki (the map from Mathematicians from the Cameroon)
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Chad on the northeast, Central African Republic on the east, and the Nigeria and Atlantic Ocean on the west and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo on the south. Orthodox Christianity came to Cameroon in the latter part of the twentieth century.
While non-Orthodox Christian missionaries in the centuries after the Portuguese reached the area of west Africa during the past several centuries, an Orthodox Christian presence was brought to Cameroon only in the twentieth century by Greek merchants and traders in 1951. These immigrants established churches that served the immigrant communities. In the 1980s, a missionary awaking developed under the lead of the Church of Alexandria to bring Orthodox Christianity to the indigenous populations of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Archdiocese of Cameroon began as part of the Metropolis of Accra and West Africa which was established on January 23, 1959. The Archdiocese is under the jurisdiction of the Church of Alexandria.
Archdiocese of Cameroon
The Holy Archdiocese of Cameroon is a diocese under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Its territory includes the parishes and missions located in the nations of Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon [now Diocese of Brazzaville and Gabon], Equatorial Guinea, and the Islands of St. Thomas and Principe.
The Archdiocese of Cameroon began as part of the Metropolis of Accra and West Africa which was established on January 23, 1959. On October 7, 2010, jurisdiction over the nation of Gabon was transferred to the new Diocese of Brazzaville and Gabon by a decree of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
- Petros (Papapetrou) 1994 - 1997
- Theodoros (Choreftakis) 1998 - 2002 (now Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa )
- Dimitrios (Zaharengas) 2002 - 2004
- Gregory (Stergiou) 2004 - Present
Photo from the article Speaking for Christ in Africa
DETAILS REGARDING THE ORTHODOX MISSION IN THE CAMEROON
Thirteen churches, two missionary centres, eighteen boreholes for drinking water, three field clinics, three schools, are just a few of the examples of the Greek contribution to the people of them Cameroon. Other works of the Orthodox Church follow, that support the people of the area: distribution of food during difficult times, 300 scholarships per year to poor pupils, distribution of stationey at regular intervals, as well as clothing and shoes and medical assistance by groups of doctors, informative talks on basic health issues especially regarding the plague of Africans, AIDS.
The role of the Greek missionary societies in this great effort is significant, as for example, through the International Development Co-operation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other NGO’s.
The history of the missions of Northern Cameroon begins 34 years ago as it began to be systematically organized in1975 by the late Metropolitan Irenaios of Accra. This same Bishop, who lost his life together with Patriarch Petros in the flight deisaster of 2004, ordained the first priests in the Northern Cameroon , while the few Greeks of the area contributed to the building of the first churches. The example of the Efstratios Repanis family from Mytilene is noteworthy, who built a large church to St Efstratios in Saar in South Chad (it belongs to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Metropolis of the Cameroon). There are still today great donors and benefactors, as Mr Anestis Arnopoulos from the seaside city of Douala in Cameroon , who has built the large church of St John the Baptist in the Banamberi area.
Photo from here
His Beatitude the Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros struggle for the development of missions in this difficult to access area was also great, from his time as Metropolitan of Cameroon (1997-2002). He visited Northern Cameroon hundreds of times, seeing to the building of a large missionary centre, three churches, a school and many field clinics. He also saw to the drilling of boreholes so that the locals could enjoy water as something which is lacking in this area, where the temperatures often surpass 45˚ C and things become more difficult during the six-month drought period (November to April).
HIS BEATITUDE ANNOUNCES THE BUILDING OF ANOTHER NEW SCHOOL IN NORTHERN CAMEROON – END OF HIS OFFICIAL VISIT
His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, announced the creation of a new school for the children of Touloum in Northern Cameroon, following his recent visits to schools where the children of poor families in Northern Cameroon on the border with Chad are educated.
The school will be the 4th in line organized by the Holy Metropolis of the Cameroon and will be built with financial support from Greek Missionary Societies. The already existing schools serve 600 children each.
Also, on 21st February 2009, His Beatitude visited the Central High School in Datcheka in Northern Cameroon, distributed stationery and addresses 2,400 young people, announcing that the Holy Metropolis of the Cameroon will be given scholarships to the first ten pupils accepted at the universities of the Cameroon and promised to send them educational material in French. "Education is the hope of the Cameroon", said His Beatitude, accompanied by His Eminence Gregory of the Cameroon , who was fervently welcomed by all the officials of the country. Also, all the media covered interviews regarding his official visit.
On returning to the capital Yaoundé on 23rd February 2009, the Venerable Primate of the ancient Patriarchate visited the Parish Community of St Eleftherios in Galvak, 90 kilometres from the capital, where he was very warmly received. During his visit His Beatitude expressed his satisfaction for the creation of three classes in the local school, financed by the "Bridge of Love" Society in Crete, and inaugurated three new classrooms. He also accepted the request of the Mayor of the area to contribute in the immediate future to the creation of an agricultural school on a piece of land to be donated by the local authority.
He then congratulated His Eminence Gregory, Metropolitan of the Cameroon on the successful missionary work undertaken in the area and generally on the fruitful efforts of the local Church in this African area.
His Beatitude completed his visit to the Cameroon on 23rd February 2009 and returns to his Patriarchal See via Nairobi on 24th February.
From the article Speaking for Christ in Africa
Orthodox Easter in Cameroon
A very interesting new video just posted to You Tube shows Pascha (Easter) in some Orthodox parishes in Cameroon in Central Africa. The video begins with Good Friday services and Baptisms in Yaounde (the capital) with snippets from the Midnight Pascha liturgy starting at 11:08 minutes.
Of particular note are some of the parish celebrations in small cities away from the capital. For example, Liturgy in the small city of Datcheka in Northern Cameroun is shown starting about 32:00 minutes. Another to watch is the visit to the parish in Touilale starting at 1:00:28 minutes. While recognizable in many respects, one can also see some inculturation. Liturgy is in the local language, the Bishop gives his sermon in French (official language of the country) and it’s translated into the local tongue.
This is part of the mission work of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria which also includes the operation of schools for children in that country.
News & articles from the Orthodox Church in Cameroon see here & here.
Glimpses of a journey across Cameroon