Emma Smith
Wed, Aug 9, 2023 11:05 PM

Nigerian Bishop Calls for Prayers for Kidnapped Priest and Seminarian

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Nigerian Bishop Calls for Prayers for Kidnapped Priest and Seminarian
The Bishop of Minna, Nigeria, Martin Igwemezie Uzoukwu, has called for prayers for the safe release of a priest and a seminarian who were kidnapped by armed men on August 3rd. The priest, Paul Sanogo, and seminarian, Melkiori Dominick Mahinini, were abducted from the residence of the priest in Gyedna, Niger State. They serve at the Church of Saint Luke in Gyedna. Bishop Uzoukwu has urged the faithful to pray for their swift and safe return.

Minna, Nigeria - The Bishop of Minna, Nigeria, Martin Igwemezie Uzoukwu, has called for prayers for the safe release of a priest and a seminarian who were kidnapped by armed men on August 3rd. The priest, Paul Sanogo, and seminarian, Melkiori Dominick Mahinini, were abducted from the residence of the priest in Gyedna, Niger State. They serve at the Church of Saint Luke in Gyedna.

Bishop Uzoukwu, in a statement released on the day of the kidnapping, requested the faithful to pray for the swift and safe return of the two individuals. "I ask for your prayers for Father Paul Sanogo and Seminarian Melkiori, who were kidnapped by criminals in the early hours of August 3, 2023, at the residence of the priest in Gyedna, Niger State," read the statement. "We pray that the Lord hears our prayers and brings them back safely," added Bishop Uzoukwu.

Father Sanogo, originally from Burkina Faso, is a missionary of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, popularly known as the White Fathers. He serves in the region, while Melkiori Dominick Mahinini, a seminarian from Kigoma, Tanzania, is on a missionary assignment with the same congregation. Melkiori had been in Nigeria for a missionary experience before continuing his theological studies.

The Bishop of Kigoma, Joseph Mlola, expressed his hopes for the release of the two hostages. "We pray to God that the two hostages regain their freedom soon," he said.

The authorities have confirmed the abduction, and a police representative from Niger State advised other clergy members in the area to exercise caution while the search operation is underway.

Archbishop Gervas John Mwasikwabhila Nyaisonga of Mbeya, who is also the President of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, emphasized the need to uphold fundamental human rights. He also affirmed the Church's support for diplomatic efforts aimed at securing the full release of the kidnapped individuals.

Religious kidnappings have been a recurring issue in parts of Nigeria, particularly in the northern region. The Catholic Church and other religious organizations have been at the forefront, advocating for religious freedom and the protection of clergy and seminarians.

The faithful are urged to unite in prayer for the well-being and safe return of Father Paul Sanogo and Seminarian Melkiori Dominick Mahinini.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-09 News

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