ACI Africa, Sep 22, 2023 / 12:30 pm
Father Paul Sanogo and seminarian Melchior Maharini, who were kidnapped from their Missionaries of Africa community in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Minna, came back to the community on Aug. 23 weary, traumatized, and sick.
The two had spent three weeks in captivity, where they were flogged almost daily, made to sleep on rocks out in the open, and forced to walk for miles barefoot as their kidnappers moved from spot to spot in the forest they were taken to following their Aug. 3 abduction.
When they spoke to ACI Africa on Sept. 1, about a week after their release, the two said the trauma they experienced during their captivity was a blessing, as it had strengthened their faith.
“When the men took us, I had so much fear in my heart, thinking of the worst that could happen to us. I couldn’t stop praying. And as time went by, I felt my faith grow stronger. I accepted my situation and surrendered everything to God,” Maharini, a native of Tanzania, said.