A Nigerian Christian prays in church. Nigeria is positioned twelfth on a new report about countries where Christians confront the most persecution.
A Catholic priest in Nigeria, who was kidnapped on Friday morning,has been found murdered.
Fr Cyriacus Onunkwo was taken from his vehicle in the town of Orlu, in the state of Imo located in southeast of the country. The priest’s body was found on Saturday in the neighboring village of Omuma.
According to the sources ,the state commissioner of police,Mr Chris Ezike told that Despite the fact that we are working over this issue, [for] now, it is a clear case of kidnapping and murder. The police said that no arrests have so far been made. They found the cleric’s car, and said nothing had been taken. The diocese of Orlu is 70 percent Catholic andunlike the Muslim-majority north of the country, where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram threatens the Christian community, the southeast of the country is predominantly Christian.
According to the sources the area is tormented by government corruption and violence with armed where different gangs roaming and regular kidnappings for ransom is common. Imo is one of the highest crime rate state in the country,
In September 2016, the Nigerian Bishops’ Conference issued a statement calling on the government to do more to tackle rising crime.
‘Political violence, corruption, kidnappings, equipped burglary, ritual murders and all ills of the past, are still present and we appear to be dynamically sinking further into the mud. Our people are currently ravaged by disease and hunger,’ the announcement said. ‘The outcome is the rise in the curve of brutality both by the state agents and non-state actors among our own people.’
Onunkwo is the second Catholic cleric to be killed in Nigeria this late spring. In July, Fr Raphael Pankyes was killed by three men in Plateau State in the centre of the country.
As the priest family member told us that he was returning home to organised the funeral service of his dad when he was kidnapped at gunpoint.
He stated:The priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, who hailed from Osina, in the Ideato North LGA, and worked in Orlu … was on a mission. He came home to prepare for the burial of his father, who died last week.’