Vatican News | The attack on the Catholic Church of Saint Mary’s in the village of Nchang, Diocese of Mamfe, represents an “atrocious act,” say the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province.
Gunmen, on 16 September, attacked St. Mary’s Catholic Nchang Parish in Mamfe and set it on fire. They also abducted priests, a nun and some laypersons. Mamfe is in the troubled anglophone region of Cameroon.
Release the abducted pastoral workers
The regional body of Bishops -the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) have called on those that abducted the five Catholic priests, a religious sister and some lay persons to set them free, “without further delay.”
We learnt “with great shock and utter horror the burning down of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Nchang, Mamfe Diocese, and the abduction of five priests, one religious sister and two lay faithful by unknown gunmen, (and that they have been) taken to an unknown destination in the surrounding forests of Nchang village on the evening of 16 September 2022,” said a statement released by the Bishops.
60 gunmen attacked Church
Mamfe’s Diocesan Radio Evangelium announced that over 60 fighters descended on the Catholic community in Nchang. The nine persons abducted represent five priests, 1 religious sister, a male catechist, a female cook, and a young girl of about 15 years living with the nuns.
After learning about the arson attack and the abduction of the pastoral workers, Bishop Aloysius Fondong Abangalo of Mamfe Diocese went to the site of the burned Church. He took away the cross and consecrated hosts still in the charred building.
“What happened here,” the Mamfe prelate said in a video released after he visited the Church, “is an abomination. Put simply, God has been made to understand that we do not want him in our country,” Bishop Abangalo says in the video.
The Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda includes the Archdiocese of Bamenda, the Dioceses of Kumbo, Kumba, Mamfe and Buea.