Two Religious Priests Kidnapped in Nigeria, Order Appeals for Their Safety, Release

Fr. Kenneth Kanwa (right) and Fr. Jude Nwachukwu (left). Credit: Ahiara Diocese

A Religious Missionary Order in Nigeria is appealing for the safety and release of two members, who were abducted from their Rectory in a Parish of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Pankshin on Thursday, February 1.

In a statement issued Friday, February 2, the Provincial Secretary of the Congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CMF), also known as Claretian Missionaries, announces with “sadness” the abduction of Fr. Kenneth Kanwa and Fr. Jude Nwachukwu.

Fr. Kanwa, Parish Priest of St. Vincent De Paul Fier Parish of Pankshin Diocese and his assistant, Fr. Nwachukwu, were abducted “at the parish rectory on the night of Thursday 1st of February, 2024,” Fr. Dominic Ukpong says.

Fr. Ukpong appeals for spiritual solidarity, saying, “We solicit your prayers at this challenging time for their safety and quick release from captivity.” 

He implores, “May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for the sons of her Immaculate Heart. Amen.”


Nigeria has been battling with a surge of violence orchestrated by gangs, whose members carry out indiscriminate attacks, kidnapping for ransom, and in some cases, killing.

The West African nation has also been experiencing the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, a group that allegedly aims to turn Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, into an Islamic country.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.