In a criminal incident in north Nigeria, a Catholic priest was burned to death and another was shot in the early hours of Tuesday. The attack occurred in the Kankara district of Katsina State, which is predominantly Muslim and has seen a recent rise in Islamist violence.
The two priests, Father Joseph Gor and Father Felix Tyolaha, were attacked by unknown assailants, although it is suspected that they were members of the extremist group Boko Haram. The priests were on their way to a nearby village when they were attacked. Father Gor was burned to death, while Father Tyolaha was shot but managed to survive the attack.
The attack comes at a time when Nigeria is experiencing a surge in Islamist violence, particularly in the north. Boko Haram has been responsible for numerous attacks in the region, including the kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has condemned the attack, saying it was “barbaric and inhumane”. The CBCN also called on the government to take action to protect the lives of all Nigerians, regardless of their religious affiliation.
The attack on the two priests is just the latest in a string of attacks on religious leaders in Nigeria. In December, a Christian leader was beheaded in the northern state of Kaduna, and a Catholic priest was killed in October.
The violence has raised fears that Nigeria could be heading towards a sectarian conflict, as religious tensions are rising. Many Nigerians are calling on the government to do more to protect religious minorities and to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.
The attack on Father Gor and Father Tyolaha is a reminder of the need for greater religious tolerance in Nigeria. Religious minorities must be protected, and those responsible for these attacks must be brought to justice. This is the only way to ensure that such attacks do not happen again.