Another Diocesan Priest Kidnapped in Nigeria

Kidnappings of priests in African cities are already becoming commonplace.  

Newsroom (December 13, 2021, 11:55 AM, Gaudium Press) This time it was Fr. Joseph Ajayi, of Ondo diocese, kidnapped on the road from Akure to Ikere last Monday, December 6. The car he was traveling in has not yet been found.

“We ask for your prayers especially for the safe release of our brother,” the secretary of the diocese expressed in a statement. “With God’s grace, we are doing everything possible for our brother to return safe and sound.”

A ransom demand has already been received, but there are no further details about the kidnapping.

Call to the international community: “Come to our rescue”

The difficult situation of violence in the country, and in particular in the Church, has recently led a priest to ask for international help for his country.

Speaking to the Aid to the Church in Need foundation, Father Bako Francis Awesuh said on November 25 that attacks by Fulani herdsmen against Christians “have become very common in Kaduna state.”

“So I ask the international community to come and rescue us,” pleaded the 37-year-old priest, who was kidnapped for more than a month earlier this year.

The violence against the Church in the African country affects almost the entire territory.

Nigeria is a federal republic of 36 states and one federal territory, located in the west-central part of Africa, a former colony of the United Kingdom. With an area of about one million kilometers, it is densely populated, with over 200 million inhabitants, of which approximately half are Muslims and the other half, Christians, with Catholics making up approximately 28% of the population.

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News of kidnapped or assaulted priests is continually reported, and even a bishop was recently kidnapped, Bishop Moses Chicwe, auxiliary bishop of Owerri, held captive with his driver from December 27, 2020, to January 1 of this year. It has also become common to see massive kidnappings of students in the news, often Christians, who do not always return to their homes. These are stories that have no happy ending.

With Aica information.

Compiled by Sarah Gangl

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