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The Nigerian Diocese urges prayers for the kidnapped priest

Father Marcellinus Obioma Okide was reportedly abducted from Nigeria’s Enugu Diocese on Sept. 17, 2023. | Credit: Enugu Diocese

Nigeria's Enugu Diocese calls for prayer to be sought for the safe release of Father Marcellinius Obioma Okide on September 17.

Enugu Diocese's Chancellor, Father Wilfred Chidi Agubuchie, provided details about the abduction of the priest on September 19.

He stated Father Okide, a parish priest of St. Mary Amofia-Agu Affa Parish, was kidnapped on his way back late afternoon. The parish was his destination.

Father Agubuchie said, “The diocese requests your prayers for the quick and wholesome release of Father Okide and for a change of heart on the part of the kidnappers."

“It is quite disheartening that this evil scheme is still plaguing our people,” the priest said.

He added, “May the Lord who came to set captives free (Lk 4:18) deliver our brother from the hands of our enemies and save our country, Nigeria.”

During Boko Haram's insurgency in 2009, which aimed to transform the country into an Islamic state, there has been insecurity among priests and all Christians in Nigeria.

Among the largest Islamist groups in Africa, the group has orchestrated indiscriminate terrorist attacks on civilians as well as religious and political targets since that time.

Adding to the complexity of the situation are the Fulani militias, which are predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

In Africa's most populous country, Okide's abduction on September 17 is the latest in a series of kidnappings of clergy.

The Diocese of Minna reported the abduction of a priest and seminarian on August 2.

On August 23, Father Paul Sanogo from Mali and seminarian Melchior Mahinini from Tanzania were released after three weeks in captivity.


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