Missio is saddened to hear of escalating violence in the state of Kaduna in northern Nigeria. We ask for your prayers for the victims and their families, and in particular for the safe return of three Catholic Priests and numerous villagers who were kidnapped in March.

On Saturday 26 March, heavily armed gunmen riding motorcycles opened fire in Kaduna airport, killing a security guard in an apparent attempt to stop a plane from taking off.

This was the latest in a string of violent episodes in Kaduna, where Missio supports the work of the Women’s Interfaith Council. Violence has been on the increase in the region, which is scarred by ongoing tensions. The attack was repelled by the security forces, but not before a life was lost.

Meanwhile, the night of 25 March, 50 people were killed and more than 100 kidnapped in an assault on nine villages in the Giwa area (to the north of Kaduna). Attackers razed several houses and a church, raided cattle and burned almost 30 vehicles.

Please join us as we pray for the victims of these vicious attacks and for the safe return of all those who have been abducted.

Mourning

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN, an organisation which brings together the country’s main Christian denominations) said:

‘The chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the State of Kaduna is sad and in mourning for the continuous episodes of assassinations, kidnappings, and banditry committed in our State without any substantial action by the government and the security forces’.

Pray for the safe return of Priests

During March, three Catholic Priests were also kidnapped. The first, Fr Joseph Akete Bako, a Parish Priest of St John’s in Kudenda (southern Kaduna), was kidnapped on 8 March in an assault on the parish house in which one person was killed.

The second, Fr Felix Zakari Fidson, from the Diocese of Zaria, was kidnapped on 24 March whilst leaving his home. And yet another Priest, Fr Leo Raphael Ozigi, was kidnapped on Tuesday 29 March while returning from Sunday service. Bandits kidnapped Fr Leo along with 44 villagers.

We ask you to join us as we pray for the safe return of all those who have been taken, and all those whose lives are being torn apart by the terrible violence.

We will not give up hope

As people of Christ we cannot give up hope that the violence will come to an end. We’re inspired by the work of Sr Veronica and the members of the Women’s Interfaith Council, who are still working tirelessly to build peace, reconciliation and understanding between communities who have been in conflict for so long.

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