Kidnapping Christians for Ransom Continues to Plague Nigeria
08/27/2019 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – So far this month, there have been at least 4 reported cases of abduction of clergy this month in Kaduna State alone. The first took place on August 4th when gunmen ambushed a pastor, Jeremiah Omolewa of Living Faith Church, and his wife while they were driving. The gunmen killed the pastor and then abducted his wife. It was not until the church paid over 8,000 dollars that they released her on 8 August. While she was being held captive, she did not even know that her husband had died.
Next, the same day that Pastor Omolewa’s wife was released, another group of gunmen stormed a church in Kasuwan Magani. Here, they killed a security guard and attempted to capture the priest of that church, Rev Joseph Kato Kwassau, but who was able to escape.
The next attack took place on August 14th when gunmen raided the home of pastor Elisha Noma and kidnapped him and his son. They then released his son a few days later and told him to raise over 50,000 dollars in ransom money. Currently, they have been able to reduce the amount demanded by the kidnappers, but Pastor Noma is still being held as negotiations continue.
Finally, an attack took place last night at the Babatunde Fashola Housing Estate. Though it has not yet been released who were kidnapped, 7 people were taken when their vehicles were stopped by men in military uniform. After the kidnapping, police started a search and were able to recover two of the victims. They are still on the hunt for the other five who were taken.
According to Rev Joseph Hayap, chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, more than 500 Christians have been abducted in Kaduna state over the past four years. In order to get these individuals released, Hayat says that the local churches have had to raise and pay over 800,000 dollars in ransoms. Please pray for Christians in Nigeria to remain safe and for their abductors to see the error of their ways and turn to Christ.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.