Parish priest Fr. Olivier Ntsa Ebode has been found dead in Obala, in central Cameroon. According to local reports, he was lured out of his house at night by men asking him to come and minister to a sick family member.
Cameroonian news website 237online said that Fr Ebode was “was known for his commitment to the poor and marginalised people” and was a “respected figure” in the community.
It wrote “The murder of Father Olivier Ntsa Ebode is a tragic reminder of the need to protect human rights defenders and people who work for the well-being of society.”
A 2021 U.S State Department report on religious liberty in Cameroon found most abuses involving religious freedom is violence associated with a separatist crisis.
“Because religion, ethnicity, and political ideology are closely linked”, it reported, it is “often difficult to determine whether incidents were predominantly motivated by religion.”
The assessment by Washington found conflict between government forces and separatists is in mostly the English-speaking areas. 800,000 people are estimated to have been displaced, and at least 6,000 killed in the violence.