Please pray for these seminarians!

Aid to the Church in Need reported that armed bandits broke into a Nigerian seminary, kidnapping four seminarians on Jan. 8. The abductors first robbed the Major Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Kaduna before kidnapping four students between the ages of 18-23. The seminarians recently began studying for the priesthood.

According to the Jan. 13 press release, there is no updated information regarding their whereabouts and a motive is unknown.

“The security situation across the Middle Belt region is extremely precarious, owing to the numerous attacks on mainly Christian villages by mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen,” the release explained.

“Thousands have been killed and many thousands saw their homes destroyed. Meanwhile, in the northeast of Nigeria, Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa are continuing their terror campaigns.”

The non-profit organization also released the seminarians’ identities: Pius Kanwai (19), Peter Umenukor, (23), Stephen Amos (23) and Michael Nnadi (18).

Below are pictures of the four seminarians:

Aid to the Church in Need, Screenshot

Aid to the Church in Need, Screenshot

This kidnapping is not an isolated incident. Many kidnappings and murders have occurred over the past couple of years, especially amongst the priests and Christians in Nigeria.

Diocese of Sokoto Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said the Nigerian government “is not doing enough to prevent the violence.”

“The only difference between the government and Boko Haram is Boko Haram is holding a bomb.”

Executive president Thomas Heine-Geldern for Aid to the Church in Need International said “The security situation in Nigeria is appalling. Criminal gangs are further exploiting the chaotic situation and making matters still worse.”

“The murders and abductions remind me of the situation in Iraq before the invasion of ISIS,” Heine-Geldern said. “Already at that stage, Christians were being abducted, robbed and murdered because there was no protection by the state. This must not be allowed to happen to the Christians of Nigeria. The government must act now, before it is too late.”

He also spoke on behalf of the seminarians’ families, saying “they must be going through a terrible time,” and “Nigeria’s Christians have been going through hell, but their faith remains unshaken.”

Please pray for the persecuted Church in Nigeria! St. Patrick, patron of Nigeria, please pray for them!

[See also: WATCH: Nigerian Soldiers Adore the Eucharist on Battlefield While Fighting Boko Haram]

[See also: Nigerian Bishop Tells How Jesus Showed Him How to Defeat Boko Haram]

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