AFRICA/CAMEROON - Video of the hostages captured in the church of Nchang: "Do everything to free us as soon as possible"

Thursday, 20 October 2022 kidnappings   priests  

Yaoundé (Agenzia Fides) - "So far it has not been easy. If you take a good look at us, you will see our sad and tried faces", says Fr. Cornelius Jingwa in a video released yesterday, October 19, on social networks by the kidnappers of the 9 hostages captured in the attack on the church of Saint Mary, in the village of Nchang (see Fides, 19/9/2022).
Fr. Jingwa is one of the people kidnapped. In the video he reports that "the situation we ind ourselves is quite difficult and we are begging our Lord to do everything possible to get us out of here". "It is a matter of life or death", says the priest, who reports that the health conditions of the hostages is not good. "I have fallen seriously ill, even my brothers are not at all well".
On September 16, a commando of armed men attacked the parish of Saint Mary in Nchang in the diocese of Mamfe (Cameroon). In the attack, nine people were kidnapped and the parish buildings, including the church, were razed to the ground.
The people kidnapped are Fr. Elias Okorie; Fr. Barnabas Ashu; Fr. Cornelius Jingwa; Fr. Job Francis Nwobegu: Fr. Emmanuel Asaba: Sister Jacinta C. Udeagha; catechist Nkem Patrick Osang; Blanche Bright, and Mrs. Kelechukwu.
Msgr. Andrew Nkea Fuanya, Archbishop of Bamenda, has stated that the kidnappers have demanded a ransom. Msgr. Nkea added that there are groups that see the Church as an "easy target for making money".
Since 2016, the north-western and south-western regions of Cameroon have been gripped by a bloody conflict between the English-speaking separatists and the French-speaking State army. The violence has claimed more than 6,000 lives and displaced about one million people. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/10/2022)