Horror as Catholic Priest Burned to Death in Nigeria

“Ungodly and inhumane”

A Catholic diocese has spoken of their shock and horror after a priest was burned to death on Sunday after bandits set fire to his parish rectory in northern Nigeria.

The body of Fr Isaac Achi was found among the charred parish building of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church on Jan. 15, according to the Catholic Diocese of Minna, Nigeria, the National Catholic Register reports.

Armed bandits attacked the priest’s residence in the village of Kafin Koro, and another priest, Father Collins Omeh, managed to escape the building but is now being treated in a hospital for gunshot wounds.

Local papers said that Fr Achi hailed from the area and was celebrated as the first indigenous Catholic priest from Gbagyi/Koro land.

Sources said that he had previously been abducted and spent days in captivity until his church members raised a ransom demanded.

Following a Christmas Day bombing in 2011 by Islamic militants Boko Haram, Fr Achi, in conducting a requiem mass for victims appealed for forgiveness for all those who had deliberately harmed others. “He said those who perpetrate evil against the state and innocent citizens require prayers. The priest called on the people to remain prayerful, saying the power of prayer and love can overcome all situations,” a local report said.

“We are deeply hurt and our hearts are heavy,” the diocese said in a post revealing the recent “gruesome” death of priests.

Alhaji Sani Bello Abubakar, the governor of the Nigerian state of Niger where the priest was killed, described the attack as “ungodly and inhumane” the Daily Post said.

“This is a sad moment, for a priest to be killed in such a manner means that we are not all safe, these terrorists have lost it, and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” Bello is reported as saying.

“May the soul of very Reverend Father Isaac Achi and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in perfect peace,” the Diocese of Minna said in a statement shared by the Nigeria Catholic Network.

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