Prayers are being sought for the quick and safe release of a Catholic priest kidnapped from his parish residence in Nigeria’s Kafanchan Diocese. Source: CNA.
“It is with great pain that we announce to you the kidnapping of our priest, Rev Fr Benson Bulus Luka,” the Chancellor of Kafanchan Diocese, Father Emmanuel Uchechukwu, said in a statement shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday.
Fr Luka was abducted on Monday evening from his residence at the parish of St Matthew’s, Anchuna, in Kaduna State.
Fr Uchechukwu urged “intense prayer” for the priest’s safe return.
“While we solicit for an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands,” Fr Uchechukwu said. “We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.”
Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.
Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups, as well as civilians.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Chancellor implored, “May Jesus crucified on the Cross listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of his priest and all other kidnapped persons.”
The latest abduction follows a series of other kidnappings of members of the clergy in Africa’s most populous nation in recent months.
Last month, Catholic Bishops in Nigeria decried the rise in cases of abductions, killings, and property destruction, calling on the government to “take full responsibility for the present culture of violence”.
Urgent prayers needed for kidnapped Nigerian priest (By Jude Atemanke, CNA)