Catholic Missionary Priest Abducted in Nigeria’s Jos Archdiocese, Security Guard Killed

Fr. Marcellus Nwaohuocha, abducted on June 17 from the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos in Nigeria. Credit: OMI

Fr. Marcellus Nwaohuocha, a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), was kidnapped on June 17 when gunmen attacked St. Paul Bomo Catholic Parish of Jos Archdiocese where he serves as Parish Priest.

In a Sunday, June 18 statement, OMI Superior in Nigeria, Fr. Peter Klaver, says that Fr. Marcellus was taken away after the gunmen “forcefully gained entry into the parish house.”

“The kidnappers shot his security guard who died on the way to hospital,” Fr. Klaver says, and adds in reference to the abducted Catholic Priest, “Nobody knows where they have taken him.”

The OMI Superior in Nigeria appeals for prayers for his confrere saying, “Please pray for the safe return of Fr. Marcellus.”

The abduction of Fr. Marcellus is the latest in a series of kidnappings and murders in Africa’s most populous nation involving members of the Clergy, Seminarians, and other Christians. 


On June 11,  Fr. Jeremiah Yakubu, a Priest of Kafanchan Diocese, was kidnapped and later released.

Earlier, on June 7, Fr. Charles Onomhoale Igechi, a member of the Clergy of Benin City Catholic Archdiocese who was set to mark his first Priestly anniversary on August 13 was shot dead while returning from pastoral duties.

On June 2, Fr. Stanislaus Mbamara, a Catholic Priest ministering in Nigeria’s Nnewi Diocese was kidnapped and later set free.

Officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was sworn in on May 29, to prioritize the security concerns and the economic struggles of the people of God in the West African nation. 

“Nigeria is facing a number of challenges that require strong and decisive leadership. From security concerns to economic struggles, it is clear that there is much work to be done in order to ensure that Nigeria can reach its full potential," Rev. Daniel Okoh said May 29.

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On May 27, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese called upon the new President of Nigeria to identify what is behind the “scars, wounds and injuries” of Nigerians even as he prioritizes their healing.

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.