Catholics in a northern Nigerian city are risking their lives to attend Sunday Mass, as their community has fallen prey to violence from radical extremists, reports the Catholic News Agency.
'There were a lot of bomb explosions, but that did not seem to deter people from coming to church,' said Fr John Bakeni, the celebrant of a March 14 Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Maiduguri.
'It was a very humbling and edifying experience to see so many people at Mass. The place was packed,' he told Aid to the Church in Need in a March 18 interview.
Fr Bakeni said more than 2,000 people packed the cathedral, saying to him later that 'if the attacks would worsen they would rather die in church than anywhere else.'
The Mass was held during violent attacks on the city, allegedly by radical Islamist group Boko Haram, which included rocket-propelled grenades and attacks on the city's military barracks. Houses were set on fire, and innocent people were killed, locals have reported.
Photo: A Catholic Church in Enugu, Nigeria, was vandalized in November, 2012
FULL STORY Nigerian Catholics risk violence, lives to attend Mass (CNA)