Things don’t look good for the Canadian nun who was kidnapped early Saturday morning in Cameroon, where she worked as a missionary helping those with HIV and AIDS.
Several of my readers have asked whether I had any updates on the status of the victims, since I first posted a prayer request on Saturday morning. Sadly, they’ve not been located, but additional information has now been published by Britain’s Daily Mail.
The 80-year-old Canadian nun, who has now been officially identified as Sister Gilberte Bissiere, was apparently targeted for abduction. Sister Gilberte and her companions, Father Giampaolo Marta and Father Gianantonio Allegri, were taken from the compound, but African religious workers were left behind.
The Vatican seems to think that Islamists are to blame for the kidnapping. The Daily Mail reports:
Vatican Radio said officials had not ruled out involvement by Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Harem.
The terror group has warned Cameroon to stay out of its fight with the Nigerian military, threatening to carry its war for an Islamic state into the neighboring country.Pope Francis is said to be aware of the kidnapping and released a statement saying he ‘hopes for a rapid and positive solution to the affair’.
No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, but Italy had warned against travel to the area of northern Cameroon, just 20 miles from the Nigerian border, because of the risk of kidnappings “due to presence of jihadist elements coming from Nigeria.”
In a March 12 letter to his home diocese of Vicenza, Father Gianantonio reported that he’d been advised by local authorities to travel with a police escort.
Catholic News Agency quoted from the letter:
“Even if on the surface you do not notice anything in particular that is alarming, it is palpable in our feelings and our conversations.”
Please continue to pray for these missionaries in peril, and for all who sacrifice to serve God in mission lands.