Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Herdsmen kill 19, including two priests in Nigeria

Free World Class Education
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.

Highlights

By CNA/EWTN News
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
4/26/2018 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Violence, Catholic News, Nigeria, Fulani herdsman

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. 

Muhammadu Buhari
@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.

Muhammadu Buhari
@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."

 

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Face Mask with Cross BOGO 50% OFF

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.