THE Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, in Kaduna State, has confirmed the killing of an abducted priest, John Mark Cheitnum, by terrorists.
The Diocese’s Chancellor, Emmanuel Uchechukwu, confirmed the development in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday.
The Diocese had reported the abduction of two priests – Cheitnum and Donatus Cleophas – in Lere Local Government Area (LGA) of the state on July 15.
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The Chancellor said, “Sequel to the announcement of the two kidnapped priests from our Diocese, it is with a deep sense of sorrow and pains that the Bishop, Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Diocese of Kafanchan announce the gruesome murder of Very Rev. Fr. John Mark Cheitnum.
“Fr. John Mark, who was abducted from the Rectory of Christ the King Parish Yadin Garu, Lere LGA of Kaduna State, was brutally killed by his abductors on the same day of his abduction; Friday 15th July, 2022.”
Untill his death Chietnum was the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Jema’a LGA of Kaduna State.
The Chancellor, Uchechukwu, further disclosed that the other abducted priest, Cleophas, escaped from the abductors and has reunited with the Diocese.
According to data compiled by Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic non-profit organisation, at least seven Catholic priests were kidnapped in Nigeria in July while a total of 20 Nigerian priests have been abducted since the beginning of 2022.
Four of the kidnapped priests have so far lost their lives.