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Children praying as the community protests killings in the Diocese of Markurdi Children praying as the community protests killings in the Diocese of Markurdi  (AFP or licensors)

Nigerian Catholics in nationwide peaceful, prayer protests

‘Armed’ only with Rosaries, Catholics in 54 cities across Nigeria, Tuesday, have been marching in what is being called the “March for Life.” The "March for Life" coincides with the burial of 17 parishioners and two Catholic priests slain by suspected herdsmen, in the Diocese of Markudi, on 24 April.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican city.

March for Life

Nigeria’s Archdiocese of Abuja Director of Communications, Fr. Patrick Alumuku has told Vatican News that the March for Life, announced by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria is in solidarity with the two priests and 17 parishioners killed on 24 April as well as many other victims of terrorism in Nigeria. Fr. Alumuku who is the ad hoc Chair of the March for Life in the capital city of Abuja said the two priests, Fr Joseph Gor and Fr Felix Tyolaha were brutally murdered together with parishioners, as Holy Mass was ending, at the St. Ignatius parish of Ukpo-Mbalom, in Benue State.

Marching and reciting the Rosary

Local Nigerian media report that there was a palpable sense of tension particularly in Benue state where the priests and parishioners were killed. Security personnel have been reassuring residents and say that they have reinforced security. They repeatedly assured that the marchers and the burial site would be safe. 

Nigerian Bishops told Nigerian Catholics in all cities to come ‘armed’ only with their Rosary beads and Candles.

Bishops denounce insecurity in the Middle Belt of the country

Speaking in an exclusive interview, with Vatican News in Rome, a day after the Makurdi attack, four Bishops from the Middle Belt of Nigeria – Wilfred Anagbe, CMF of Makurdi Diocese; Peter Adoboh, the Bishop of Katsina-Ala; William Avenya, the Bishop of Gboko and Michael Ekwoy Apochi, the Bishop of Otukpo told Paul Samasumo that terrorists and mercenaries had infiltrated the herdsmen. They described the attacks at the Church as, “horrendous, barbaric and satanic.” They wondered how such deadly attacks could occur in broad-daylight and culprits never made to account for their actions. 

 

22 May 2018, 13:29