Catholic Archdiocese in Nigeria Appeals for Prayers for “unconditional release” of Priest

Fr. Joseph Igweagu. Credit: Archdiocese of Onitsha

The Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha in Nigeria is calling on the people of God to pray for the “unconditional release” of Fr. Joseph Igweagu who was kidnapped on October 12 as he returned to his Parish residence after presiding over a funeral Vigil Mass.

In a Sunday, October 16 statement shared with ACI Africa, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Archdiocese says, “It is with shock but strong faith in the love and protection of God that we announce to the priests, religious, lay faithful of Onitsha Archdiocese and all men and women of goodwill, the abduction of our priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Igweagu, the Parish Priest of St. Joseph's Parish, Abata, Nsugbe.”

“We solicit sincere prayers for his unconditional release from the hands of his abductors,” Fr. Prudentius Emeka Aroh further says, and adds, “The Archdiocese of Onitsha is doing everything possible to secure his freedom.”

The Nigerian Catholic Priest seeks the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the safe release of Fr. Igweagu, saying, “While we pray for the conversion of his abductors, we call on our Mother Mary, the un-doer of knots, to intercede on his behalf so that he will be quickly released unhurt.”

Nigeria has been struggling with violence from gangs who kidnap for ransom and sometimes kill their abductees.


The West African country has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state. 

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.