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Catholic Church protests killings, asks govt to act

The Department of Church and Society (DCS) of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has protested the killing of Revd Fr. Isaac Achi by bandits…

The Department of Church and Society (DCS) of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has protested the killing of Revd Fr. Isaac Achi by bandits at Kafin-koro Minna, Niger State.

The Director, Department of Church, and Society and Executive Director/CEO, Caritas Nigeria, Revd. Fr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina, who led others at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, said the killing of Fr. Achi, other priests and other Nigerians across religious divides, is unacceptable.

While saying that the targeting of Christian priests has made Christianity in Nigeria an endangered species.

According to him, the list is endless since 2012 to date as there have been 47 recorded attacks on the Catholic Church, killing of Catholic priests, nuns, and seminarians, burning of churches and church-owned facilities such as presbyteries, schools, and hospitals, and the abduction of a countless number of priests, nuns, and Christians.
He said, “In fact, about 39 Catholic priests have been killed, 30 abducted and ransom paid and collected, 17 Catechists and over 3500 catholic faithful assassinated needlessly.

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“One begins to wonder and ask, what has the Catholic Church in Nigeria done that deserved such barbaric and atavistic attacks? Is it possible to think of a planned strategy to root out Christianity and Christians in Nigeria?”

He lamented that in the last decade, Nigeria has become a hell on earth, where human life has been totally devalued, castigated upon, and randomly wasted. Unavoidable pain and death have become the order of the day; where no single day passed without bad news on the media
and the various social media platforms of one reckless death or the other.

“Unarguably, that have been the bitter experiences of some good men and women of this country, Catholic priests and nuns, other Christians and Muslims, the vulnerable and defenceless victims of insurgency, Boko haram attack, abductions by suspected Fulani herdsmen, banditry and arson among men and women of the underworld, who have needlessly lost their lives,” Obodoechina said.

According to him, in more sense than one, the attack of Christians and especially Catholic priests in Nigeria in the last couple of years, has made Christianity in Nigeria an endangered species.
He said, “In fact, the incessant abductions, killings, and kidnapping of Catholic priests and nuns, the attack of Christians at places of worship, the burning of churches and presbyteries across the country.

“And other assaults and carnage going on in the different parts of the country in one hand, and the obvious indifference on the part of the government to provide any modicum of protection, care, and support, arrest and punish offenders, stand for the rule of law, and save innocent lives, give the impression of a government that is biased and unjust to a cross-section of its citizens.”
He lamented that it is unfortunate that Nigeria is such a classical example of a government at the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, that is markedly partial, insensitive, and grossly abusive of human rights.

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