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OWO, Ondo State, Nigeria (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Diocese of Ondo in Nigeria has expressed sorrow regarding the terrorist attack on the faithful who had come to solemnize Pentecost Sunday at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo. 

Yesterday Father Augustine Ikwu, the Director of Social Communication for the Ondo diocese, confirmed that there had been a terrorist attack on Sunday, June 5, 2022, which left dozens dead and injured during the Pentecost Sunday Mass. 

“It is so sad to say that while the Holy Mass was going on, men of unknown origin, wielding guns, attacked St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State,” Ikwu said. “Many are feared dead and many others hurt and the Church violated.” 

Fr. Augustine shared Bishop Jude Arogundade ’s remarks urging the faithful to remain calm, be law-abiding, and to pray for peace and normalcy to return to the community, state, and country. He said that they were turning to God to console the families of those who lost their lives and praying that the departed souls may rest in peace. 

According to eyewitness reports, explosives were heard outside the church as well as bullets fired inside. Two men caused pandemonium within the church, as local residents, who were taken by surprise, ran for safety. News reports say that “at least 50 people” died in the attack.  

Viewer advisory: The video shows pools of blood.

After the incident, many mourners condemned the nation’s authorities for failing to safeguard the public from the growing terrorism in Nigeria. 

A statement from the office of President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the terrorists’ actions.  

“The president says only fiends from the nether region could have conceived and carried out such a dastardly act, adding that eternal sorrow awaits them both on earth here, and ultimately in the hereafter,” the statement read.

“President Buhari mourns the dead, condoles with their families, the Catholic Church, and the Government of Ondo State, charging emergency agencies to swing into action, and bring succor to the wounded.

“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light. Nigeria will eventually win.”