Catholic Activists in Africa Demand Release of Dozens of Christians Kidnapped in Nigeria

Credit: CitizenGO

Catholic social activists across Africa under their umbrella association, CitizenGo Africa, are calling for the immediate release of 36 Christians who were reportedly kidnapped from a village in  Kaduna State, Nigeria, on July 25.

In a July 28 report, International Christian Concern says that the kidnappers are suspected “to be Islamic extremists who performed door-to-door kidnappings in the village.”

“The Muslim terrorists attacked the community at about 9 p.m., shooting at the people, and broke into their houses and forcefully took away the victims to an unknown place,” the International Christian Concern has quoted an area resident as saying.

In a petition launched Tuesday, August 2, the activists who are part of CitizenGo call for immediate action following the July 25 kidnapping, saying, “We demand the immediate release of the 36 that were abducted in Kaduna last week and the complete end of Christian persecution in Nigeria.”

The activists express their frustration over the continued massacres in Nigeria, and add that the country is the most inhospitable place for Christians.


“Nigeria is now the worst place for Christians to live in,” the activists say, and add, “Every day comes with the threat of bandits either kidnapping, torturing, or killing Christians.”

“In the recent past, we have witnessed the worst of Christian persecution in the country with up to 1,000 lives lost in just the last few months,” the Catholic activists who are part of a team comprising social leaders and experts on themes such as family, life, and liberty say.

They further say that they find the “continued massacre” worrying, and express bafflement that the situation in Nigeria has not yet attracted the wrath of the global leaders and the rest of the world.

The social activists say that they have, in the last five years, conducted campaigns urging the Nigerian government to show concerted efforts in eradicating the ongoing persecution express frustration that nothing has been forthcoming.

“We traveled all the way to the risky Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria to stand with the parents of Leah Sharibu who up to date is still in captivity, we presented our petition to the ECOWAS court in Nigeria, delivered signatures to the office of the Minister of Defence and also of the president but got no response from the authorities,” members of CitizenGo Africa lament.

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They add in reference to their efforts to reach out to relevant authorities in Nigeria, “This compelled us to take up the matter with the African Union and it is still shameful that there is nothing to report to date.”

Addressing Nigeria’s Minister of Defense, the activists who are part of a multidisciplinary team that is stretched across the globe also call for action to be taken to secure the release of the victims of Boko Haram militants who, they say, have been languishing in captivity for years.

“It is unfortunate that Christian persecution seems to be on an all-time high during your reign and nothing seems to be done,” they say in reference to Muhammadu Buhari-led government, and add, “We demand that you immediately secure the freedom of the 36 who were kidnapped in Kaduna last week and every other person in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents.”

The activists call for the attention of the world to the suffering of Christians in Nigeria, saying, “We now ask the globe to wake up! We need to stop the massacres now or never.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.