By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA, NIGERIA (Worthy News) – Catholic leaders say a Nigerian priest abducted last week was found murdered Tuesday while his colleague escaped from his kidnappers in Nigeria’s northern state of Kaduna.
Catholic priests John Mark Cheitnum and Donatus Cleophas were reportedly seized in the town of Lere when attending a function at Christ the King Catholic Church last Friday.
On Tuesday, the body of Cheitnum was found, the Kafanchan diocese said in a statement, adding that he was “brutally killed on the same day of his abduction.” His burial is on Thursday, Catholic sources said.
The latest killing underscored broader concerns about the kidnappings of clergy in Nigeria, often by Islamic gunmen demanding ransom.
At least seven Catholic priests are known to have been kidnapped in Nigeria this month alone, according to data by Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic nonprofit group.
The latest abductions mean that up to 20 Nigerian priests have been kidnapped since the beginning of 2022. Four of the priests, including the latest victim, were killed.
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