A Catholic priest was kidnapped in Nigeria Friday. Fr. Nicholas Oboh of the Diocese of Uromi has been abducted by gunmen in the state of Edo in the southwest region of the country.

“We are sure that he is alive, and since the incident, steps have been taken to ensure that Rev. Fr. Nicholas Oboh is released without any harm,” the chancellor of the Uromi diocese, Fr. Osi Odenore, told local reporters Feb. 14.

Local news outlets have also reported that several children were kidnapped at the same time.

Speaking to reporters, and on Facebook, Fr. Odenore has said that the diocese is now working to secure Oboh’s release. The chancellor also urged prayer for the priest’s release.

The kidnapping is the latest in a series of abductions and killings in Nigeria which have involved Catholics and other Christians; clergy, seminarians, and lay people.

Earlier this week, suspected Islamist militants in Borno state staged an arson attack which killed 30 people, including a pregnant mother and her baby. The attack also destroyed 18 vehicles filled with food supplies for the region.

Seminarian Michael Nnadi, 18, was killed in late January, weeks after he and three other seminarians were abducted from their seminary in Nigeria. The seminarians kidnapped with Nnadi have been released, but one is facing life-threatening injuries.

Also in January, Rev. Lawan Andima, a local Government Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the married father of nine children, was beheaded by Boko Haram. 

Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City said Andima was killed “simply because he was a Christian.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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