“We insist on this because this act has now crossed the red line and we must say that ‘enough is enough,’” it said.

Cameroon has been embroiled in a civil war known as the “Anglophone Crisis” in which armed separatists from the Anglophone regions of the country in the northwest and southwest have taken part in an uprising against government forces. Both sides have been accused of atrocities, including the murder and torture of civilians.

The Catholic Church has recently been targeted in “a wave of persecutions against the hierarchy of the Church,” according to the local bishops, who noted that Presbyterian and Baptist churches have also been targeted.

“All kinds of threat messages are sent out against missionaries who have surrendered their lives to work for the people,” the bishops’ statement said.

Bishop Aloysius Fondong Abangalo of Mamfe found that the sacred hosts and the ciborium had been preserved intact in the tabernacle in St. Mary’s Catholic Church after the arson.

In a video released Sept. 21 by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Abangalo is seen genuflecting before the tabernacle in the burned-out church as he retrieved the hosts from the ruins.

The 41-year-old Cameroonian bishop said that the kidnapping and the desecration of the church “dealt a very grievous blow to us as a Church.”

He added: “We did not fail to associate such pain to the saving passion of our Lord Jesus Christ ... the source of our hope and victory.”--CNA