World News

Young Catholic monk kidnapped and murdered in Nigeria

Brother Godwin Eze was kidnapped with two other young Roman Catholic monks from the Annunciation Benedictine monastery, in Eruku, Western Nigeria, on the morning of the 17th of October.

The abductors beat and tortured them in the forest for six days. Two of the novice monks were released, but sadly, Brother Godwin had died as a result of the torment. The other two young men were forced to transfer his body and throw it into a nearby river. 

Villagers have been helping the devastated community to find Brother Godwin’s body. 

According to Bishop Ayo-Maria Atoyebi of the Diocese of Ilorin: “The community here is still struggling with the trauma of what has occurred. Christians are now facing terrible choices in Nigeria. They are being targeted.”

Fulani extremists had called the monastery several times whilst confining the monks, reprimanding them on their Christian faith and demanding a ransom.

As stated by Father Anselm Lawani of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ilorin, in Kwara State, Western Nigeria: “They were saying, ‘Why are you worshipping Jesus?’ You are wasting your time praying to him. You are worshipping an idol.'”

According to Open Doors UK, there has been a “sharp upsurge” in the abduction and murder of Christians in Nigeria. The main perpetrators have been jihadi extremist groups such as Boko Haram, Fulani militants, and armed kidnapping parties. Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, confirmed: “Kidnapping is a surging industry in Nigeria. It’s clear that many of these kidnapping gangs are operating with links to violent jihadist networks, such as Fulani militant groups.”

Three nuns, a seminarian and a driver, were kidnapped in Imo State on their way to a funeral earlier this month. Shortly before that, a priest was abducted in Enugu State. Twenty-five church choristers were kidnapped on their way to a church burial in Akure, Ondo State, in September.




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