Unidentified terrorists have killed two Catholic priests in the Nigerian states of Kaduna and Edo, according to statements by their respective archdioceses which come a month after two other priests were slain in two other districts in the West African country.
The victims have been identified as Fr. Vitus Borogo, a priest serving in the Archdiocese of Kaduna, and Fr. Christopher Odia from the Diocese of Auchi.
Borogo was killed in a raid on a farm along Kaduna-Kachia Road Saturday, and Odia was kidnapped from his rectory at St. Michael Catholic Church in Edo State’s Ikabigbo area and then killed by his captors Sunday evening, Catholic News Agency reported, citing a statement by the chancellor of the Kaduna archdiocese.
Borogo, 50, was a chaplain at Kaduna State Polytechnic, and 42-year-old Odia was the administrator of St. Michael’s and principal of St. Philip Catholic Secondary School in Jattu area.
Catholic News Agency also noted that more Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country worldwide — at least 4,650 in 2021, and nearly 900 in the first three months of 2022 alone.
In May, unidentified gunmen stormed a Catholic parish in northern Nigeria and abducted two priests, identified as Fr. Stephen Ojapa and Fr. Oliver Okpara from the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, and two unidentified boys from St. Patrick Catholic Church in Gidan Maikambo area of Katsina state’s Kafur Local Government Area, Vatican News reported at the time.
In a separate incident the same month, radical Islamic militants affiliated with either the Islamic Fulani herdsmen or the Islamic State West Africa Province killed at least eight Christians, including children younger than 5, and wounded several others in an attack in Borno state.
Also last month, the Islamic State terror group released a video showing the execution of about 20 Christian civilians in Borno State in revenge for the killing of their leader in Syria by the United States special forces in February.
The video, released by an IS-linked news outlet, showed a masked militant executing a Christian civilian while saying it was revenge for the killing of their leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, an Iraqi Islamic terrorist and the second “caliph” of the Islamic State.
Open Doors USA, which monitors persecution in over 60 countries, earlier reported that at least 4,650 Christians were killed between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. That is an increase from 3,530 the previous year. Additionally, more than 2,500 Christians were kidnapped, up from 990 a year earlier.