Nigeria: Man says he killed seminarian because he would not stop announcing the Christian faith in captivity

May 10, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Nigeria: the case of seminarian Michael Nnadi is a vivid illustration of how the persecution of Christians today is calling upon people to have the perseverance of the saints and the courage of the martyrs. If Nnadi had been willing to remain quiet about his faith, he would likely be alive today, but to him, “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). He refused not only to renounce Christ, but even to stop proclaiming the Gospel, even in his dangerous circumstances. Michael Nnadi demonstrated the unconquerable faith and indomitable courage of the holy martyrs. Please pray that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will abundantly bless his witness by turning the hearts of his captors, so that they will be moved to embrace the faith for which he died.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria from, see here.

“Killer Speaks: Murdered Nigerian Seminarian Was Killed for Announcing Gospel,” Catholic News Agency, May 3, 2020:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man claiming to have killed the murdered Nigerian seminarian Michael Nnadi has given an interview in which he says he executed the aspiring priest because he would not stop announcing the Christian faith in captivity.

Mustapha Mohammed, who is currently in jail, gave a telephone interview to the Nigerian newspaper Daily Sun on Friday. He took responsibility for the murder, according to the Daily Sun, because Nnadi, 18 years old, “continued preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ” to his captors.

According to the newspaper, Mustapha praised Nnadi’s “outstanding bravery,” and that the seminarian “told him to his face to change his evil ways or perish.”

Nnadi was kidnapped by gunmen from Good Shepherd Seminary in Kaduna on January 8, along with three other students. The seminary, home to some 270 seminarians, is located just off the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria Express Way. According to AFP, the area is “notorious for criminal gangs kidnapping travelers for ransom.”

Mustapha, 26, identified himself as the leader of a 45-member gang that preyed along the highway. He gave the interview from a jail in Abuja, Nigeria, where he is in police custody….

The newspaper reported that from “the first day Nnadi was kidnapped alongside three of his other colleagues, he did not allow [Mustapha] to have peace,” because he insisted on announcing the gospel to him.

According to the newspaper, Mustapha “did not like the confidence displayed by the young man and decided to send him to an early grave.”

According to the Daily Sun, Mustapha targeted the seminary knowing it was a center for training priests, and that a gang member who lived nearby had helped conduct surveillance ahead of the attack. Mohammed believed that it would be a profitable target for theft and ransom.

Mohammed also said that the gang used Nnadi’s mobile telephone to issue their ransom demands, asking for more than $250,000, later reduced to $25,000, to secure the release of the three surviving students, Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; and Stephen Amos, 23….