Pope Francis prays for priest killed in Nigeria, asks for prayers for persecuted Christians


Pope Francis prays at the general audience, Oct. 19, 2022 / Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

Vatican City, Jan 18, 2023 / 03:05 am (CNA).

At the end of his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis asked for people to join him in praying for persecuted Christians around the world.

The pope said on Jan. 18 that he was praying for Father Isaac Achi, a Catholic priest who died after bandits set fire to his parish rectory in northern Nigeria.

Armed bandits attacked the parish residence at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Kafin Koro, Nigeria, at 3 a.m. on Sunday. Another priest at the rectory, Father Collins Omeh, escaped the building but sustained gunshot wounds. The Diocese of Minna has said that Omeh is responding to treatment.

Speaking to pilgrims in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis said: “I ask all of you to join me in praying for Father Isaac Achi, of the Diocese of Minna in northern Nigeria, who was killed last Sunday in an attack on his rectory.”

“So many Christians continue to be the target of violence: let us remember them in our prayers!”

Pope Francis also extended a special greeting to French-speaking pilgrims from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he will be visiting at the end of this month.

On the same day that the priest was killed in Nigeria, the Islamic State bombed a church service at a Pentecostal church in the eastern Congolese town of Kasindi, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 60.

In a message of condolence after the bombing, Pope Francis expressed his “compassion and closeness to all the families so hard hit by this tragedy.”

The pope’s upcoming trip to Africa will provide an opportunity for him to further highlight the ongoing violence against Christians in the region.

On his second day in Kinshasa, Pope Francis is scheduled to meet with victims of violence from the eastern region of the DRC, where more than 5.5 million people have been displaced from their homes.

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  1. Once again, who can say it better than the Holy Father? It is indeed tragic that so many Christians are being killed with great frequency in certain parts of the world by spontaneous violence originating from some direction or another. It is all quite inexplicable. A special committee should be set up to investigate root causes. In the meantime, let’s avoid any rush to judgement.

    • Sense some well applied irony in your remarks! 🙂 For the Muslim, the Koran does not support the contentions of Islam. The Koran is at odds with itself.

      A Muslim is cordially invited to present Islam as opposed to the word of God, which we find in the Bible. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, whereas the prophet of Islam was a mercenary and warrior as the Koran and other writings show us.

      2 Timothy 3:1-7 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. …

      Isaiah 9:5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.

      Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; …

      John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

      Jeremiah 20:11 But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten.

      Dear Muslim, let us dialogue in the peace and joy that is Jesus Christ. Jesus cares for the eternal soul of mankind let us explore to find truth, the eternal truth of God.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Pope Francis prays for priest killed in Nigeria, asks for prayers for persecuted Christians | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  2. Pope Francis prays for priest killed in Nigeria, asks for prayers for persecuted Christians | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers

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