Gunmen kidnap 2 Catholic priests in Nigeria


On Wednesday, gunmen attacked a Catholic rectory and kidnapped two priests in northwestern Nigeria.

Father Stephen Ojapah and Father Oliver Okpara were abducted after armed men broke into the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, in the middle of the night on May 25, according to a statement from Diocese of Sokoto.

Two boys were also abducted along with the priests, according to Father Chris Omotosho, spokesman for the diocese, reported ACI Africa, the CNA’s African news partner.

Omotosho, member of St. Paul’s Missionary Society of Nigeriaof which one of the abducted priests is also a member, issued a call to prayer “for their safety and release”.

The kidnapping is the latest incident in a series of attacks that have allegedly targeted church institutions in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

ACI Africa reported on May 14, Muslim youths vandalized several Catholic churches in the area, including the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral of Sokoto Diocese, St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, and St. Bakhita Center.

Youths vandalized churches to protest the arrest of suspects in the stoning to death of Deborah Yakubu on May 12.

Yakubu, a Christian girl studying economics at a college in Sokoto, was stoned and then burned by male college students who accused her of blasphemy.

She reportedly testified that Jesus Christ helped her pass her exams and was later accused of making blasphemous statements against the Prophet Muhammad.

Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of Makurdi, Benue State, issued a statement on May 20 asking why the Nigerian government continues to remain silent in the face of continued attacks in the West African country.

Anagbe said widespread terrorism by Islamist Fulani herders in Benue state had made it almost impossible to conduct pastoral visits to the area.

The Bishop denounced the silence of the international community amid the suffering of Christians in Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, we continue to draw the attention of the outside world to the Islamists’ plan to Islamize Christian territories countless times with little or no heed to our cry and plea for help,” a- he declared. said.

“Sometimes it seems like we’ve been left at the mercy of the jihadists.”


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