Catholic Entities Condemn Gruesome Murder of Catholic Priest in Nigeria

Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Minna in Nigeria razed by fire. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic charity foundations, Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI), and Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, have condemned the Sunday, January 15 attack on Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Minna in Nigeria in which the Parish Priest was killed and his Assistant left in critical condition.

In a Monday, January 16 note to ACI Africa, DHPI Director, Johan Viljoen, said that the peace foundation, which is researching the evolution of violence in Nigeria is “appalled” at the current insecurity in the West African country.

Mr. Viljoen said he found it regrettable that the Nigerian government, as well as the international community, remains mum as killings of innocent civilians escalate in the country.

“DHPI is appalled at the ongoing and escalating killing of priests in Nigeria. We are appalled by the fact that the Nigerian government allows this to continue. And we are appalled at the international community standing by doing nothing,” the official of the peace entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said.

He added, “We express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, facing death daily.”


The Catholic Diocese of Minna announced the killing of Fr. Issac Achi in a message that was obtained by ACI Africa on January 15.

“It is on a sad note that we announce the death of Very Rev.  Fr. Issac Achi of the Catholic Diocese of Minna,” the Diocese said, adding that Fr. Achi’s Assistant, Fr. Collins Omeh survived the attack, and had been hospitalized “in critical condition”.

Fr. Achi “was shot dead by Bandits that attacked the Parish in the early hours of today,” the message from the Nigerian Catholic Diocese indicated, adding, “Please, remember Minna Diocese in your Prayers.”

A video clip obtained by ACI Africa showed the burnt body of Fr. Achi in a building that was seen still in flames.   

In a letter that was addressed to the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Fr. Amanchukwu Emeka G., the Chancellor of Minna Diocese provided some updates about the situation of Fr. Omeh, saying, he “sustained some gunshot wounds but he is responding to treatment”.

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“The Parish house was burnt to the ground,” Fr. Emeka said in his one-page message to Fr. Zechariah N. Samjuni of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).

He added, “Please pray for healing mercy from God for Fr. Collins, pray for Minna diocese, while further burial arrangements will be communicated in due course.”

The news of Fr. Achi’s killing came amid reports of the kidnapping of a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, in Oye Local Government, South Nigeria. Fr Michael Olofinlade of the Archdiocese of Ibadan is the first Catholic priest to be kidnapped in Nigeria in 2023.

Condemning the recent attacks in a report shared with ACI Africa, ACN says Nigeria has been “a particularly dangerous country for Catholic clergy over the past years.”

“In 2022 four priests were murdered in the country, and 28 were kidnapped,” the Pontifical charity foundation says, and adds, “Aid to the Church in Need asks for prayers for the repose of Fr Isaac, for the healing of Fr Colins, and for the local Catholic community and the Diocese, which was deeply affected by the incident. It also prays for the safety and quick release of Fr Olofinlade.”


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.