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Prayer, Fasting For More Just, Democratic Cameroon 

By Fr. Ludovic Lado sj, Jesuit Priest

Many of us often say “On va faire comment?” as a sign of resignation, when faced with situations of social injustices for which we feel powerless.  Many of us in this country have shared this feeling of weariness, stuck in a political system in which politicians have fun while Cameroonians suffer.
 

Many of us whine about how Cameroon is managed: inequity in the distribution of the national cake, the gangrene of corruption, the plague of tribalism, the disparity between the impudent luxury of Government officials and the misery of the majority of Cameroonians. We complain about the poor access of our children to adequate healthcare and to good education and we wonder about the future of our country, considering the fate of our youth with degrees yet plagued by unemployment.
 

But, surprisingly, we are not many to want to make sacrifices for a more just and democratic country.  We seem to forget that the ills plaguing this country are the sum of all the daily evildoings of Cameroonians. For Cameroon to change, each Cameroonian, or at least most Cameroonians, must be willing to change. There will be no just and democratic Cameroon without just and democratic Cameroonians.
 

As Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master, clearly puts it, “the sons of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than the sons of light” (Lk 16, 8). In the same wake, Martin Luther King, a follower of Jesus Christ who put his faith at the service of justice, writes in his book entitled Non Violent Revolution that, “Our generation will not answer only for the hatred-filled words and deeds of the wicked; it will also answer for the distressing silence of good people. Human progress does not spring from nothing. It is the fruit of the incessant efforts of people who want to work with God, and without their hard labor, time becomes an ally of the forces of social inertia”.
 

Christians, as most believers of other religions, would know that both the visible and invisible world are involved in a fierce and permanent battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil, all vying to win over human disciples. It is in this battle that Jesus showed us the way to triumph over evil with good. His disciples are sure of the victory but they have to fight for it.

The problem is that the children of light do not fight hard enough. They are not as shrewd as the children of darkness. If our country is in a bad shape today, it is because the sons of darkness are more ingenious in their works of darkness than the sons of light. It is time, therefore, that the sons of light wake up, unite and organise themselves in this battle for justice and democracy which, besides being political, is ultimately spiritual.
 

It is well known that most of our political leaders in the sub-region of central Africa have links with esoteric circles in which they bargain with power of darkness to gain privileges in this world. They believe that their survival as a successful politician or a businessman depends on this pact with forces which have nothing in common with the Holy Spirit.

If they did, our countries will not be in this mess. These clients of the powers of darkness who rule over us are faithful to their evil practices and literally become slaves of their demonic masters. These circles are a distressing threat to our youth, desperately looking for jobs. The battle is not only political but also spiritual. If you lose the spiritual, you are likely to lose the political. Where are the sons of light?
 

It is sad that many sons of light are so lukewarm in their spiritual life and give so much space in their lives to worldly and empty things which make them even more vulnerable to the attacks of evil forces. Indeed, it is hard to understand how in a country where so many claim to be Christians, there are so many injustices and corruption in our offices, so much tribalism in our relationships, so much immoralities in our lives, even among Christians. Where are the disciples of Christ in our country? Where are the sons of light? Many of us claim to be Christians but in their daily life they work for the devil, the father of evil and lies.
 

It is therefore time for the sons of light to wake up in this country, to rearm themselves anew and to organise in order to free Cameroon from the powers of darkness, which keep on resisting the advent of justice and democracy. It is important that each Christian accept to change in order to become a real soldier of Christ, ready to toil and make sacrifices for the advent of the Kingdom of God. Not that we dream of the Kingdom of God on earth, but we believe that, if not all, at least, most Cameroonian can become lovers of justice and truth.

The national days of prayer are meant to mobilise these soldiers, Christians ready to fast and pray every week to purify themselves in order to exorcise Cameroon of its demons of injustices, especially of the love of money, which has corrupted hearts. Jesus taught us that there is a variety of evil spirits which “cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” (Mk 9, 29). I believe this is the case with our social evils thwarting and ruining efforts towards justice and democracy. We need fasting and prayer!
 

What are these national days of fasting and prayer all about? It means for the sons of light, the real ones, to devote one day per week, preferably Friday, to fasting and prayer for a more just and democratic Cameroon. This is not a light commitment. Most religions, including Christianity, consider Fasting and Prayer as an effective means of personal and social transformation.

Each weekly national day of Fasting and Prayer will be an opportunity for each Cameroonian to examine the link between his faith and the practice Justice, to examine his attitude to ills such as corruption, the disordered love of money, dishonesty, tribalism, etc. which are irreligious sources of injustices. Fasting here first means abstaining from any act of injustice and evil behavior in relationships with the neighbour.

And to help oneself in this effort, interested Christians are invited to abstain from those other things that stimulate our animal passions: Tobacco, alcohol, sex, dancing, dirty music, superfluous spending, dirty conversations and images, favorite meals and drinks, except water and fruits. Other days of the week, the emphasis is on abstaining from injustice.  God his Truth, Love and Justice and will surely help us in this battle.
 

The National Day of Fasting and Prayer will take place every Friday and starts on Friday 16 September 2011 for an initial period of one year. Here are some concrete suggestions for prayer on these Fridays of penance: read Isaiah 58 on Thursday evening before you go to bed, then meditate it on Friday morning; as you meditate, formulate a personal prayer for self-purification and for a more just and democratic Cameroon. You can send samples of these prayers to voxcamer@gmail.com so that they can be shared with others. Then spend your whole day living in the spirit of Isaiah 58 that is in justice, truth and brotherhood.
 

To join this spiritual movement, send an SMS with your name and place of residence to 98 04 79 94 or 75 14 99 19. For a beginning, the practice will be individual and personal. But with time, the Spirit will inspire us on how to communicate and organise. Suggestions and testimonies are welcome on voxcamer@gmail.com.

This spiritual army will be guided by the light of our faith in the victory of good over evil. We trust in Jesus as he says: “In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven.”(Mt 18: 19-20). Let us agree to ask for the reign of justice in our hearts and in Cameroun. God bless Cameroon!

Email: voxcamer@gmail.com
Tel.: 98 04 79 94/75 14 99 19
Bilingual website: www.voxcamer.org

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