A new report by SBM Intelligence has revealed no fewer than 39 Catholic priests were killed and 30 others abducted in 2022 by terrorists in Nigeria.
The report, entitled: “Attacks on Priests,” was released by the research institute, yesterday.
It reported that there were 145 attacks on Catholic priests last year.
SBM Intelligence, a research organisation, compiles and analyses data about happenings in the country.
The North Central was the worst hit with 12 killings, North West recorded nine deaths, South East and South South recorded five deaths each, while the North East and North West had four deaths each.
A further breakdown of the killings indicated that 28 were carried out by kidnappers, three by herdsmen, two by the Independent People of Biafra, two by Boko Haram, and one each by bandits and mob violence.
“2022 was an awful year for the clergy. None in that group suffered more than Catholic priests, who at a point, were subjected to near-daily abductions with ransom demands set at an average of N50 million per priest. Although there were quite genuine fears that these abductions were targeted persecution of the Christian faith, the financial imperative in a holy abduction has somewhat eclipsed such concerns.”
The most recent of the killings was that of Isaac Achi, a priest of St. Peters and Paul Catholic Church in Kafin-Koro, Paikoro council of Niger State, who was burnt to death at his residence.