Prayers Sought for “quick, safe release” of Catholic Priest in Kafanchan Diocese, Nigeria

Fr. Emmanuel Silas, abducted in Nigeria's Kafanchan Diocese on 4 July 2022. Credit: Kafanchan Diocese

Prayers are being sought for the “quick and safe release” of a Catholic Priest kidnapped from his Parish residence in Kafanchan Diocese, Nigeria.

“It is with great pain that we announce to you the kidnapping of our Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Silas,” the Chancellor of Kafanchan Diocese says in a statement shared with ACI Africa Monday, July 4.

Fr. Emmanuel Uchechukwu says that Fr. Silas “was abducted from the parish rectory at St. Charles Catholic Church, Zambina, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.”

“The sad event is believed to have occurred in the early hours of July 04, 2022, when he could not turn up for morning Mass.”

The Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese that is within the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna in Central Northern Nigeria calls for calm and urges “intense prayer”.


He says, “While we solicit for an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands.”

“We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release,” Fr. Uchechukwu continues, and implores, “May Jesus crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and all other kidnapped persons.”

Nigeria “is grappling with a wave of violence by armed gangs who frequently carry out killings and kidnappings for ransom – mostly in unprotected rural communities,” BBC News reported in April.

Since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state, Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity.

Boko Haram, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

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The insecurity situation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers.

The latest abduction of Fr. Silas follows a series of other kidnappings of members of the Clergy in Africa’s most populous nation.

On July 2, two members of the Clergy of Nigeria's Uromi Catholic Diocese were abducted after gunmen attacked their car along the Benin-Ekpoma Express Way.

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.