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Nigerian methodist church leader and two priests kidnapped

by Alex Collett
, Samuel Kanu 3.png - Banner image

The head of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, Samuel Kanu, has been abducted along with two other priests, according to reports. 

The men -  the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, and the Prelate's Chaplain, Very Rev. Jeremiah Shittu - were making their way back from a church event,

They were travelling on a major highway on Sunday, 29th of May, in the south-eastern state of Abia when they were kidnapped, local police have told the BBC.

Police have launched a  rescue mission to find the clerics

Very Rev Dr Deji Okegbile, the Chaplain of the Nigerian Methodist Chaplaincy said they fear for their safety: "We are very concerned, concerning their safety and really, this is a disappointment on the part of those managing the security architecture of Nigeria. 

 "Though we are still in shock, we are appealing to the federal government and the states to ensure their release on hand. 

"We are pleading I'm praying for their release."

"It's like the government is still too relaxed about the situation, we appeal to them to please put in place all the necessary security apparatus for the release in good condition."

According to Very Rev Okegbile the security arrangements, especially all over Nigeria have been challenging for some time now. 

He said that Samuel Kanu is planning to retire at the end of this year. 

Very Rev Okegbile said: "So it's really sad moment for the family, for the church, and for the Nigeria in general.

"The way things are going, is like there is a kind of spiritual warfare going on, especially against the church, the Body of Christ, all over the world. 

"The body of Christ is going through a very serious challenge, both physically, spiritually and psychologically and we appeal that men of God rise to pray, that the King of Glory recommit to the affairs of the church and make ought to be true light without any intimidation."

The Methodist Church have also released a statement on the abduction: "The President and Vice President of the Methodist Church in Britain have expressed their deep shock and concern at the abduction of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev Dr. Samuel C. Kanu Uche, the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, and the Prelate's Chaplain, Very Rev. Jeremiah Shittu, by gunmen whilst on official duty in Abia state after attending an event on Sunday 29 May. 

"The Revd Sonia Hicks and Mrs Barbara Easton are asking people to pray for the safe release of these clergy, for their families, for our Methodist partners in Nigeria, and for the country, where kidnappings, violent extremist attacks and murders by armed groups, are frequent occurrences, and many live in fear. 

"They also pray for Methodist members of Nigerian heritage within our Connexion at this time."

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