Herdsmen kill 19, including two priests in Nigeria
FREE Catholic Classes
At least 19 people, including two priests, were killed on Tuesday when nomadic cattle farmers in central Nigeria opened fire at morning Mass in a Catholic parish.
Jos, Nigeria (CNA/EWTN News) - Reports indicated that Fulani herdsmen attacked Saint Ignatius Church in Ayar-Mbalom, a town within Nigeria's Benue State, on April 24. According to officials, the herdsmen killed 17 worshipers and two priests: Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha.
After the attack on the church, the herdsmen proceeded to shoot residents in the area and set fire to around 50 homes, according to survivor Peter Iorver, whose stepmother had been a victim.
"The herdsmen came and opened fire on the church while morning mass was going on," Iorver told New Telegraph, a local newspaper. "After they attacked and killed those in the church, they left and started shooting sporadically, killing residents around the area."
"They burnt over 50 houses and destroyed food and farm crops as they retreated to their base. My stepmother was one of the victims; she was at the mass when the attack happened."
The attack took place near Nigeria's middle belt, where the Muslim north meets the southern Christian area.
While none of the attackers have been arrested so far, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to find those responsible for the shooting.
"This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting," he tweeted.
@MBuhari24 AprI extend my sincere condolences to the Govt and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the Bishop, priests & members of the St Ignatius' Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings of worshippers & two priests by gunmen.
@MBuhari This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting.
U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, also decried the violence.
"Tuesday's killing of priests and parishioners on the grounds of St Ignatius Catholic Church in the Makurdi Diocese signals that the religious violence in Nigeria is escalating," he said. "It's imperative that Nigerian authorities punish those who are culpable, lest violence worsen during the upcoming election cycle."
"Nigeria should explore justice system reforms that address grievances so that herdsman -- the perpetrators of much of the recent violence -- "cease targeting farmers, exacerbating religious and ethnic tensions in the process," Smith continued, adding that the creation of a religious equity commission would also be timely.
Violence between Fulani herdsmen and farmers has increased in recent years, as climate issues have pushed herders further south.
By mid-January this year, more than 100 deaths had been attributed to the herdsmen.
The Catholic Bishop's Conference of Nigeria voiced grave concern about the violence in a January statement. They recognized the challenges faced by the herdsman, but expressed the need for better alternatives to open grazing.
"Government should rather encourage cattle owners to establish ranches in line with international best practice," the bishops said.
"Farmers and herdsmen have a lot to contribute to the socio economic prosperity of our nation. A more enduring strategy must be worked out for their peaceful co-existence and mutual respect."
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
Among the 331 candidates for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize are the Copts, the Christian ethnoreligious group of Egypt. Oslo, Norway (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading
Polygamy has long been practiced in Zimbabwe's rural areas, but it's becoming more common in urban areas, too. In this story, women and men ... continue reading
Lions have killed and devoured three poachers in the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa. The poachers were believed to be in search ... continue reading
Des champs de mais emplissent une large vallee dans la grande partie de l' ouest de ce pays riche en terres agricoles fertiles. Des bords ... continue reading
There's a wide valley filled with maize fields in the western swath of this agriculturally fertile country. Water-filled ditches run along ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Monday, October 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- With city support, Baltimore parish will issue IDs to undocumented ...
- World Mission Sunday to highlight that youth can evangelize too
- New Zealand bishops reaffirm commitment to government abuse inquiry
- St. Paul of the Cross: Saint of the Day for Saturday, October 20, 2018
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, October 19th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Saturday, October 20, 2018
- Daily Reading for Sunday, October 21st, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, October 18, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, October 20th, 2018 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education