Prayers Answered as 2 Catholic Priests Kidnapped in Nigeria have been Released!

Prayers have been answered as 2 Catholic priests kidnapped in Nigeria in May 2023, have been released! A week after the kidnapping of Father Jude Kingsley Maduka and his subsequent release (see Fides, 22/5/2023), the kidnapping of another Catholic priest in Imo State (south-eastern Nigeria) is caused concern in the local community.

The Diocese of Owerri announced on May 28th that Fr. Mathias Opara was released.
The details of his kidnapping indicate that the kidnappers were specifically targeting the priest. Father R. Mathias Opara was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on the evening of May 26th on the Ejemekwuru-Ogbaku road. The priest was on his way back to Owerri from the funeral of another priest's father in Izombo, Oguta Local Government Area, Imo State.
According to the spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, the attackers came out of the bushes to attack Father Opara and the other passengers traveling with them. But while the other three people were being released, the kidnappers fled into the forest, taking Father Opara with them.
At the end of April, also in Imo state, another Catholic priest, Father Micheal Asomugha, parish priest of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Osu, in the local governorate of Isiala Mbano, was kidnapped, who was released after nine days. (L.M.) (Edited from Agenzia Fides, 29/5/2023/Vatican News and Diocese of Owerri)