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Father Landry Praying for the Suffering Christians in Nigeria

JEANNETTE, PENNSYLVANIA, June 12 — Along the 65-day National Eucharistic Pilgrimage from New Haven, Connecticut to Indianapolis, Seton Route chaplain Father Roger Landry, Catholic Chaplain to Columbia University and Ecclesiastical Assistant (National Chaplain) to the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need in the United States, has been praying each week for the persecuted and suffering Christians in a particular country supported by ACN-USA.


With his fellow pilgrims, Father Landry has several hours of Eucharistic adoration each day, as he holds Jesus in his hands during Eucharistic processions, as the Pilgrims' pray to him in the special tabor (secure stand for the monstrance in which the Eucharist is placed) in the van over greater distances, not to mention at Mass and periods of Eucharistic adoration in the Basilicas, Cathedrals, Catholic Churches and chapels along their way.


In the third week of the pilgrimage, he was praying explicitly for the needs of Nigerian Christians and recorded a video outside the Church of the Ascension in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, part of the Diocese of Greensburg, asking for others to join him in those prayers.


In the video, Father Landry said that last year 7,000 Christians were killed in Nigeria for their faith, an average of about 19 a day. Just a few years ago, 5,000 were killed annually. That's more than all the martyrdoms that take place throughout the whole rest of the world.


When killing of this magnitude happens on a given day in the United States, journalists aptly call it a "mass murder." That's what Christians in some regions of Nigeria have to endure each day.


Not only are they being killed as they worship by groups like Boko Haram and the Fulani Herdsman, as happened on Pentecost 2022 in Ondo, but they are being kidnapped and held for ransom, run out of their villages, forced to convert to Islam, and more.


To put a human face on those for whom he is interceding, Father Landry is praying especially for Rebeca, Mariam and Janada.


Kidnapped, abused, forced to convert to Islam, Rebeca saw one of her children killed. She was raped and bore the child of her rapist.


Mariam and Janada were locked in cages like animals because they were Christians.


After their escape, Mariam told ACN, “For nine years, we saw the shedding of the innocent blood of my fellow Christians, killed by people who do not value life. They murdered without remorse, like it’s a normal thing to do.”


After they were liberated, all three women had audiences with Pope Francis as they began to resume their life as Christians.


Though they had sought to maintain a relationship with Jesus through all the abuse they endured, the indoctrination of their captors and the constant Muslim prayers they were forced to recite were not easy to endure.


Today, Rebeca, Mariam and Janada are living their faith, raising children, and concentrating on their education and futures.


Father Landry asked prayers for them as they recover as well as for all the suffering, persecuted and endangered Christians in Nigeria.


For more information on the situation in Nigeria, Father Landry urged everyone to visit the website of Aid to the Church in Need USA.




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