Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Eight Christian Nigerians released after kidnapping on a mission trip :

The eight members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) who were abducted while on a church trip to evangelize have been freed. 


The General Overseer of RCCG announced the news on Twitter. He said: "Today I got the exciting news that our brethren who were in captivity of kidnappers have all been released and taken to the Hospital for checkup and tests."


"Glory be to Jesus. We pray for lasting peace in all troubled regions of the country in Jesus name."


Last month, the group was travelling towards the town of Kafachan in the Kaduna state as part of an Easter evangelistic program when attackers intercepted the bus and kidnapped them leaving the bus behind. 


An eyewitness, Eje Kenny Faraday, then posted a picture of the empty bus and said "All passengers in the bus are just kidnapped along Kachia Road, Km 63 from Kaduna."


At the time of the abduction, it was reported a ransom for the equivalent of £88,000 was demanded but it is unknown if it has been paid, according to International Christian Concern. 


There were reports that the Kaduna State Government was considering appointing intermediaries to negotiate with bandits. However, the state's commissioner for internal security and homeland affairs, Samuel Aruwan clarified that anyone engaging in negotiations with abductors will be prosecuted.


In a statement, he said: "The attention of the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Governor Nasir El-Rufai has been drawn to reports in the media that it has appointed representatives to interface with bandits on its behalf.


"The position of the Kaduna State Government remains the same: The Government will not negotiate with or pay ransoms to bandits. Any person who claims to do so in any capacity will be prosecuted accordingly."


Nigeria is one of the worst countries for Christians to live out their faith. It currently ranks ninth on Open Doors' Christian Persecution World Watch List.