Father Celestin Ngango was forced out of his car by armed men shortly after he celebrated Easter Mass.
Church officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) say that the kidnappers of a Catholic priest in the violence-plagued region have demanded $500,000 in ransom.
Father Celestin Ngango was abducted Sunday shortly after celebrating Easter Mass in his parish in the Diocese of Goma in North Kivu province. He was forced to get out of his car and was led into the jungle by armed men, according to a report by Vatican News.
The area has witnessed a recent eruption of violence from militia groups sparring over control of the mineral-rich area, and there have been frequent clashes between the military and security forces. Over 1.4 million people have been forced from their homes.
Last November, armed militants killed 14 international peacekeepers in an attack that the United Nations said was committed by the Islamist terrorist group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). In March, ten people were killed in an attack by militias in North Kivu.
In January another priest, Father Robert Masinda, was abducted and released. Three priests from the Assumptionist Order were kidnapped in 2012, and two others in July of last year.
According to the Vatican News report, there has been no news of the priests since they were abducted.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?