8 Nigerian Christians kidnapped from church bus freed: ‘pray for lasting peace’

Originally published in CBN News

Eight Christians who were abducted at gunpoint while traveling to an Easter programme in Kafanchan, Nigeria on March 26 have been released from captivity. 

Members of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) were on their way to attend an evangelism program when their church’s bus was attacked by gunmen.

RCCG General Overseer Pastor Enoch Adeboye announced the good news Thursday on Twitter.

“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.”

During the attack, gunmen reportedly transferred the church members from their bus to another vehicle.

An image of the empty bus was posted to Facebook by Eje Faraday. The photo shows the bus with the church’s name and address painted on its side. 

“All the passengers in this bus were just kidnapped along Kachia Road, 63 km from Kaduna,” Faraday wrote. 

International Christian Concern reported that the gunmen demanded a ransom of more than $100,000 for their release. It is unknown whether the payment was made.

The Kaduna state government urged citizens not to negotiate with bandits.

“The position of the Kaduna State Government remains the same: the Government will not negotiate with or pay ransoms to bandits,” said Samuel Aruwan, commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs on Sunday. “Any person who claims to do so in any capacity, if found, will be prosecuted accordingly.”  

As CBN News has reported, Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3 530, up from 1 350 in 2019, according to Open Doors 2021 World Watch List. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed – 270, according to the list.

And Nigeria led the world in the number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to the report. In 2021, Nigeria broke into the top 10 countries for the first time, where it is most difficult to be a Christian, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year.  

Please continue to pray for everyone else who has been kidnapped in Nigeria and for their safe return.

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