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Bakoum in Cameroon


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
17,000 Kwakum Christianity 70.00 % 2.50 % No No   

Bakoum in Cameroon

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Introduction / History
The Bakoum people dwell in the east region of Cameroon, southwest of the region's capital city Bertoua, in Douma and Dimako. The land of the east region consists of a complex topography that includes a wide variety of environments, such as forests, savannas, mangroves, valleys, and plains. Because these environments can be found all over Cameroon in different locations, one could say that the east region is a sort of "Cameroon in miniature." The Bakoum are part of the Bantu, a Central-Congo people cluster. They cannot be found in any other countries of the world. They are a warm and inviting people who are proud, quick to smile, outspoken, and fun-loving.

What are their lives like?
The Bakoum struggle to survive by living off of the land and the dense rainforest (where both legal and illegal logging is a problem) as subsistence farmers, producing mostly fruits and vegetables such as corn and mangoes. The Bakoum use a "slash-and-burn" technique for farming, meaning they will clear areas of forest in which to grow crops using machetes and fire. This method yields high amounts of crops quickly, but also quickly drains the soil of its nutrients, making it necessary for the Bakoum to move their farms every three to five years (excluding banana and plantain farms). Some Bakoum also work as shopkeepers in local markets, selling items ranging from meats and vegetables to clothing and cellular telephone service.

Indigenous resources are used to build their houses; the lower class Bakoum people live outside of local towns and use dried mud brick, wooden posts, and thatch roofing made from Rafia leaves, while the upper-class live in town and use cement blocks and metal roofing for their houses. They are also starting to use wooden planks for the walls of their houses.

The dress of the Bakoum is a mixture of western and Cameroonian style. On any given day, one may encounter a Bakoum dressed in long pants and a t-shirt or collared shirt, and then another dressed in brightly colored, loose-fitting traditional garb that may or may not have patterns. It is common for the Bakoum to dress their best for church, with preachers often wearing suits.

Bakoum children are typically educated in public schools, and many have access to a complete education. Many Bakoum live in close proximity to the Baka people, often setting up camps literally right next to their Baka neighbors and right next to rural roadways. Thus, the lives of the two peoples are often intertwined. They may even use the Baka Language to communicate with the Baka people, otherwise they will use French, which they also use to communicate with other peoples. Traditionally the Bakoum have spoken their own language (Kwakum) to their kinsmen, but many young Bakoum have started speaking together in Camfranglais, a mixture of Douala, Ewondo, French Pidgin and English.

Due to the dense forests and warm climate, the east region is home to many tropical diseases including malaria (predominant), dengue fever, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis. There are also poor sanitation practices which cause even more deadly illnesses and diseases such as hepatitis A and bacterial dysentery. These difficult and underdeveloped conditions cause many deaths among people in the east region, including the Bakoum. Sadly, their infant mortality rate is about 5% and the normal life expectancy is only 52 years.

What are their beliefs?
Several different religions can be found among the Bakoum people, including Christianity, Islam, and Animism. There have been reports of witchcraft taking place throughout the east region. While Christianity boasts a very high percentage among the Bakoum people (70%), evangelicalism is of a much lower percentage (2.5%). Christian churches (loosely defined) present among the Bakoum include the Catholic, Presbyterian, Full Gospel, Seventh Day Adventist, Apostolic, and Christian Assembly churches. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a Bible translation in the Bakoum language and a lack of discipleship, the Bakoum Church is very immature. Evangelicals worship in the trade language (French) instead of their heart language, resulting in a more shallow level of biblical knowledge and understanding. This in turn leads to syncretism in the church, as well as a lack of holiness among its members. However, survey workers have observed a hunger for more of God and his Word among the Bakoum, even resulting in the formation of an indigenous Bible translation committee and an inter-church language committee.

Prayer Points
American Christian workers have begun the initial steps to provide a Bible translation in the Kwakum language and discipleship for the Bakoum church.

* Pray for long and fruitful ministry and for more workers.
* Pray that the Bakoum church would be submissive to God's Word and willing to make the necessary changes to their faith and practice as they grow in the knowledge of God.
* Pray for biblically qualified, indigenous leadership to be raised up in the Bakoum church (1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9).
* Pray that the Bakoum people would be transformed into a people mature in Christ who love God's Word.
* Pray that the Bakoum would commit to creating and reading a written form of their heart language, Kwakum, especially the Kwakum Bible.
* Pray for a viable, indigenous church planting movement to sweep over the Bakoum people.
* Pray for sanitation, water, and health care development in the east region of Cameroon.
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

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Prayer Links
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Country: Cameroon
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
Persecution Rank:48 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:East region: Upper Nyong division, Dimako and Doumé subdivisions; Lom-and-Djerem division, north of Bertoua, Bélabo subdivision.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Bakoum
People Name General: Bakoum
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 105512
Joshua Project People ID: 12903
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 17,000
Population all Countries: 17,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Bantu, Central-Congo
People Name General: Bakoum
Ethnic Code: NAB57c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kwakum
Language Code (ISO): kwu    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Sub-division:Roman Catholic
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity70.00 %(Evangelical: 2.50 %)
Ethnic Religions30.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent3.00 %
Protestant4.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian25.00 %
Roman Catholic68.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Bakoum in Cameroon

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bantu, Central-Congo     Africa, West and Central    
      Bakoum Cameroon    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bakoum in Cameroon          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Kwakum  
    All Religions                              

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