Kidnapped Nigerian Pastor Freed, Colleague Killed

Thursday, June 10, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - A retired Nigerian church pastor has been freed after being kidnapped in an attack in which another minister was killed, Christians told Worthy News.

Church colleagues reportedly confirmed the release of Joe Keke on June 3 and said the 75-year-old was undergoing medical treatment.

“He was abducted on May along with church minister Alphonsus Bello, 33, from a church in north-central Katsina State, Nigeria,” added Christian aid group, Barnabas Fund. “The body of the younger minister was found the following day in farmland near the church training school in Malunfashi,” the well-informed group confirmed.

Christians in Nigeria are increasingly targeted for abduction by both Islamist militants or by bandits. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently warned of a “Christian genocide” if the government of Nigeria cannot protect Christians from Islamist terrorism.

“Nigeria is quickly becoming a “killing field” for that nation’s Christians,” said Commissioner Gary L. Bauer in the April report seen by Worthy News.

“The hour is late. Nigeria’s government seems unable or unwilling to stop the growing carnage. In large swaths of the country, Christian parents fear their children every day when they go to school. Those children are targeted by savage Islamists who kidnap and force them to renounce Christ or face death.”

Bauer noted that “Every time a Nigerian Christian family worships at a church, they are painfully aware it may be the last thing they do on this earth.”