Number of kidnapped priests rises in Nigeria

In Nigeria more and more priests are being kidnapped. On this last occasion, a catechist was kidnapped by bandits. It is about Fr. Joseph Shekari, who had already been kidnapped on February 6, 2022, in a similar way. The priest had been released a day later, according to Fides.

This is the latest example of an alarming increase in murders and kidnappings of Catholic priests in this country. Specifically, SBM Intelligence revealed that at least 39 priests were killed and another 30 were kidnapped during 2022. In the report entitled ‘Attacks on priests’, published on Monday, January 23, a total of 145 Catholic priests were injured last year. past. “Although there were fears that the kidnappings were a persecution of the Christian faith, the financial imperative of the kidnappings somewhat overshadowed those concerns,” the report added.

SBM Intelligence explained that 28 of the murders were carried out by the kidnappers, three by herdsmen, two by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), two by the Boko Haram terrorist group and one by bandits.

Nigeria has been battling a wave of gang-orchestrated violence. Criminals carry out indiscriminate attacks, kidnapping for ransom and murder. The country has also suffered from the insurgency of the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram since 2019. The criminal group is reportedly aiming to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation.

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