US News: Nigeria: concern in the face of the resurgence of priests 'abductions

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Au Nigeria, les enlèvements de prêtres se multiplient en cette année 2022. Les ravisseurs semblent penser que l'Église a les moyens de verser d'importantes rançons. (photo d'illustration) © AP - Rahaman A Yusuf in Nigeria, priests' abductions are multiplying this year 2022. The kidnappers seem to think that the church has the means to Important ransoms. (Illustration photo)

in Nigeria, members of the clergy are increasingly targeted by kidnappings. The removal of a Catholic priest and a seminarian, Friday August 12, in the state of Abia is the latest of a series of similar incidents targeting religious, and which have sometimes ended with dramas.

With our correspondent in Lagos, Liza Fabbian

which could look like isolated incidents is becoming a phenomenon as recurring as they are worrying. In July, a reverend of the state of Kaduna was killed by the men who had removed him with another religious who was able to escape. Two weeks earlier, a priest had already been shot by unidentified attackers, while working in a vegetable garden, still in the state of Kaduna.

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In the diocese of Sokoto too, religious and their domestic staff have disappeared. But southern Nigeria is not spared: in the state of Edo, in that of Akwa Ibom, religious have also been removed.

In June, the prelate of the Methodist church in Nigeria was kidnapped after armed men attacked his vehicle. He was released two days later, in exchange for a ransom of 200,000 euros according to him. After his release, the prelate also explained that his captors had acted "with the complicity of the security forces" posted on the road.

Other religious suffered the same fate in previous months, suggesting a strategy of the kidnappers, who probably consider that their churches have the means to pay important sums to make them free. The Catholic Church of Nigeria had however said, in 2021, that it refused to pay in the event of kidnapping, so as not to encourage these criminal practices.

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