A Catholic priest abducted from Kaura in a Feb. 6 attack, Joseph Danjuma Shekari of St. Monica’s Catholic Church, was freed the next day, CSW reported. About 20 pastors, priests and Christian leaders have been kidnapped for ransom in Kaduna over the past two years, according to reports, but it was not clear whether a ransom was paid for Shekari.
John Joseph Hayab, secretary of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told CSW that Shekari’s ordeal “further shows that Christian clergy are no longer safe in Kaduna state and in northern Nigeria. Gradually, bandits have turned this noble calling into a dangerous vocation to venture into.”
While some Fulani are said to launch terrorist attacks, not all members of the ethnic group are extremists. The Fulani comprise millions in Nigeria and the Sahel, including hundreds of clans. Some Fulani receive Christian missionaries, overseas workers have told Baptist Press, and current Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is of Fulani heritage.
Nigeria is the deadliest country for Christians, Open Doors said in its 2022 World Watch List. Of the 5,898 Christians killed for their faith in 2021, 79 percent, or 4,650, were killed in Nigeria, Open Doors said.
Terrorists including Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and other groups are active in the country.
This article originally appeared on BaptistPress.com.