TRUTH, and JUSTICE
(Prelude to Peace)
Deacon TASSANG Wilfred
Prison Principale Kondengui, Yaoundé
The Church in Ambazonia
All Leaders and Adherents
Peace and Love to you in Jesus’ name.
I have for a long time resisted the temptation to write to God’s servants the leaders of various Christian assemblies in Ambazonia. Today, I have come out of that wall, not because I have a message from God to the Church, but because I feel that it is high time the church was reminded of what she stands for, and that she has largely fallen short of her teachings with regards to the Ambazonian struggle.
However, let me thank all christians in Ambazonia and abroad who have sustained this struggle by lifting up hands to God in surrender and supplication. This note is not addressed to you. The word Church is herein used to refer to Church leaders only.
The struggle for freedom ongoing in the Southern Cameroons is not the first of its kind; the Church (worldwide) has been involved in many such struggles in the past. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa is not yet dead, and his incessant street demonstrations on the streets of Johannesburg and other cities couldn’t have been forgotten so soon. Archbishop Romero was killed while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel. His fight for justice and freedom amongst and with the poor and downtrodden of his native Elsavadore is yet fresh in the memory of Rome that only recently, (August 14, 2018) canonised him into sainthood. Will the world ever forget the fight put up by America’s civil rights activist and Pastor, Martin Luther King Jr? Many times, I have asked myself whether these men of God were real, and whether our children shall not soon think of them as myths, as we do of John the Baptist today. Why will they not soon become concepts if those who saw them on the field doubt what they stood for during our own life time.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Many times, and in different assemblies, (Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentacoastal) I have heard priests, pastors and prophets preach from this passage and rightly declaring that Jesus came to fulfill this scripture. During his ministry, Jesus fulfilled this scripture by setting captives free from both physical and spiritual yokes and prisons. Everywhere He went, the sick and the possessed were set free. Peter, Paul and Silas were variously set free from prison. What has happened that the Church of Christ, He whose coming was and is principally to bring justice, has lost her voice in the midst of prolonged injustice? Is it possible that the church has declared benevolent neutrality in this matter when the rights of its members are trodden underfoot? Even the right to worship Jesus freely? Is it possible that for whatever reason, the church has chosen silence, or at best, to speak in muffled tones instead of screaming justice! from the alters? Could the shepherds of the flock have developed more concern for their survival whilst the sheep are fed roughage?
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. The truth, I was brought up to hold in highest reverence, to speak it even when it is against my interest. Elsewhere in the scripture, Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. This means that anywhere you find falsehood, you have not found Christ. It also means that “all truth is of God,” no matter the subject. That injustice was done to Southern Cameroons in 1961 is the truth, and this truth is of Jesus. In refusing to uphold this truth, has not the Body of Christ denied the Lord, Jesus Christ? In 1992, the Archbishop of Bamenda, Paul Verdzekov (late), is quoted as stating firmly that Southern Cameroons statehood was the truth, and that nothing shall stop it from coming to pass. How come this truth has suddenly been hidden from the Church?
Psalms 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
In setting up and running Justice and Peace Ministries, the Body of Christ has recognised the importance of peace not only in the Church, but also in the larger community. There can be no peace when justice and righteous living is not the foundation. God’s foundation, the GNB version of Ps.89:14 above says God’s foundation is justice and righteousness. Can we say therefore that we are of God, and lay claim to Jesus as our Lord when we are ashamed to stand up for the truth?
The Church in Ambazonia has cried out for peace until her voice is faint. To cry out for peace in total disregard of Justice is to cry out in futility. To desire peace is a good thing. However, peace becomes ephemeral where justice is scarce, and justice is reduced to a dream in all societies that despise the truth. The mathematics is simple;
truth + justice = peace. Truth therefore is the king pin as it were, of the roof. This is the truth.
The truth about the Ambazonian struggle is that the Church is also in need of liberation. How could the church have forgotten this? Has not colonial Yaounde stopped Ambazonian children from reading and studying their God? And does not the Holy Spirit admonish us to “study to be approved.” Was not Religious Studies part of the the grievances of the education trade unions? How could the church have forgotten this? I can’t understand this. Should not the Church be at the forefront of this struggle as she did in South Africa? Should not the Church be spearheading this struggle for justice, even of freedom to worship and serve our God? Is it for the shepherd to free the sheep or for the sheep to free the shepherd? And if the church cannot speak the truth, who will? Little wonder, falsehood, subterfuge, blasphemy and dissembling are the order of the day in the struggle.
For those that needed reminders; the current upheavals in the Southern Cameroons is all about justice. Justice is why thousands have died; justice is why scores of thousands are in exile; justice is why hundreds of thousands are internally displaced; justice is the reason why thousands are in prison. It’s all about justice. Is it possible that Ambazonia goes to equity with dirty hands?
To all who have laid claim to Ambazonian leadership; is it possible that in putting yourself before your people, you are doing justice to the struggle? Is it possible that in not telling the truth to the struggle about what the agenda of Nera Hotel was, for is instance, you are doing justice to the struggle? Is it possible that this “not my way, the highway attitude” is justice you are doing to the struggle?
What is the truth you want to uphold?
Is it possible that the struggle for homeland restoration would have covered more mileage if we were genuinely united?
Is it possible that Ambazonia would have been a reality if the Church and all her leaders had brought their moral authority to bear on the struggle?
Today is Sunday, March 08, 2020. On this date, I have from the darkness of Prison Principale, Kondengui Yaoundé screamed for the truth. We all will make the difference and precipitate God’s hand and purpose if we resolve to proclaim the truth, to stand, and to die for it, caring little about what befalls us, but caring all about those that will enjoy freedom tomorrow.
Ambazonia is real and true. What shall history record about you? More importantly, what are the Chroniclers presently recording about the conduct of the church? Shall tomorrow’s children be proud to sit on the pews and to proclaim the name of the Lord who delivered their homeland on account of what the Church did?
The truth, Church, is that there is much more you can do that you have not done. The truth, Church, is that churches out of Ambazonia are wondering whether the Church exists in Ambazonia.
Church, awake! Time to speak the Truth is now, for salvation is now.