Christian Persecution in Nigeria: Two Claretian Priests Were Kidnapped By Islamist

Farrukh Saif

February 4, 2024

ECSPE-Catholic Church

Two Catholic Priests were Kidnapped in Nigeria. In a distressing announcement, the Claretian Missionaries have reported the abduction of two of their dedicated brothers, Rev. Fr. Ken Kanwa CMF, the Parish Priest of St. Vincent De Paul Fier in Panshin Diocese of Plateau State, and his Assistant, Rev. Fr. Jude Nwachukwu C.M.F. The community is now fervently calling on people of goodwill to join them in prayer for the safe and unconditional release of these abducted priests.

Nigeria has become the most dangerous place for Christians; Christian persecution is not limited to Nigeria alone; various regions across the world, including Pakistan, China, and India, witness disturbing trends of violence, discrimination, and displacement against Christians.

But Nigeria has really become a horrific place for Christians. Over 7,000 Christians were attacked for their faith only in 20024. However, it has been observed that the government of Nigeria is willfully overlooking the violence of Boko haram. There are specific reports from credible sources that the Nigerian military had assisted Boko haram and the Fulani extremists who are attacking and are responsible for the Massacre on Christmas of Christians.

Even in December 2023, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) revealed that since the onset of the Boko Haram and Fulani Muslim herders Islamist insurgency in 2009, over 52,250 Nigerian Christians have been killed in Nigeria.

Furtherly they also described in the report that in 2023, more than a thousand Christians have been killed. During this same period, a minimum of 707 Christians were kidnapped. The Northern Nigerian Niger State alone documented over 200 abductions, notably the abduction of over 100 Christians in Adunu (Paikoro) on 14 March 2023. Kaduna recorded at least 101 instances of anti-Christian abductions, with other affected states including Katsina, Taraba, Edo, Ogun, Nassarawa, Kwara, Kogi, Borno, Yobe, Adawama, Bauchi, Enugu, Imo, Kebbi, Gombe, Bayelsa, and Cross River.

Now, since Christmas of 2023, a new wave of persecution has hit Nigeria; killings and abductions have ravaged hundreds of Christian villages, and more recently, in January 2024, dozens of women and children were abducted by Islamist groups.

And now the abduction of Rev. Fr. Ken Kanwa CMF and Rev. Fr. Jude Nwachukwu C.M.F has sent shockwaves through the Claretian Missionaries and others. Till today, the Nigerian Government has failed to control the situation. It seems like the Government would like to eliminate the Christians from the Central region of Nigeria. Moreover, it is also observed that the government is portraying the Christian persecution as a clash between farmers and herders.

This is a time for the Christian community across the world to stand together with our Nigerian brothers in this time of persecution.

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a fearless Christian Human Rights activist, founded the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to combat religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His focus on liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns has earned him international recognition. Despite facing threats and fatwas, his impactful work continues to support marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, amplifying its global reach.


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