CHRISTIANS ON THE BRINK – HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS IN CHAD
It is a year of catastrophe …
… for the world, and especially for Chad … and in particular Chad’s Christian minority.
There is “a serious threat to the survival of the Christian faith in Chad,” wrote senior Chadian church leader Rev. Clément Hlama to Barnabas Fund this week.
Will Christianity survive in Chad?
The Muslim majority dominates Chadian society. Discrimination against Christians is the norm in Chad, which has a long history of Muslims oppressing Christians, including Muslims raiding non-Muslims to seize them as slaves. Poor and uneducated Christians are still vulnerable to exploitation. Being the poorest section of society, Christians are the most severely affected by the multiple disasters afflicting Chad this year.
Christians are also vulnerable to attacks by Muslim cattle raiders, trying to grab their land. Islamic charities are active amongst the Christians, Islamizing them through offers of aid – aid that is so desperately needed in disaster-prone 2020. Boko Haram militants remain a serious threat. In addition, Christians face harassment from followers of Traditional African Religions.
Multiple humanitarian crises
“Chad is facing multiple humanitarian crises in 2020,” according to a UNICEF report a month ago - and things have only got worse since then. Flooding now affects 19 of the country’s 23 provinces and nearly 400,000 people. Christians in many rural areas have lost their homes and also their harvests.
Covid-19 lockdown was particularly damaging for those who earned their living from their own small businesses. Agriculture was seriously affected when Covid regulations stopped people moving around – a calamity for small farmers who had to travel to get to their fields. The price of food shot up, causing malnutrition to escalate too, as many simply could not get enough to eat.
Chad has also been wracked by other dangerous diseases. A deadly outbreak of measles and another of meningitis earlier in the year are now in decline, but the viral disease chikungunya spiked in September. A type of vaccine-derived polio broke out in Chad in 2019 and is continuing to spread, and cholera is endemic in parts of the south. This would be bad enough for any country, but Chad’s frail health resources cannot begin to cope.
Please help our brothers and sisters in Chad today! We want to feed 5,000 Christian families for two months.
A gift of £24 ($31; €26) will buy 50kg of maize at present prices, enough to keep a Christian family in Chad alive for two months.