Catholic Churches in Enugu State have come under attacks from vandals who are destroying statues in and around premises of the worship centres.
In the last one months, three incidents of such have been reported, even as the invaders in each of the attack left a note saying “stop worshiping idols.”
Angered by the development, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu officially reacted to the destructions on Tuesday, condemning the act in the strongest terms.
The Director of Communication in the diocese, Joseph Offor, in Enugu listed the three churches that had been attacked as: Seat of Wisdom Parish, Abakpa Nike; St. Leo Catholic Church, Federal Housing Estate; and St. Mary Catholic Church, Trans-Ekulu.
Reverend Father Offor, while briefing the press said, “Sometime ago, in October, the Vicar General of the diocese, Monsignor Luke Adike complained that unknown people invaded the church, Seat of Wisdom Parish, Abakpa Nike, around 1am.”
“In the morning, he went into the church, and he saw that all the statues, both that of the Sacred Heart, that of the Virgin Mary and every other thing in the altar has been smashed, destroyed by these hoodlums”
“On November 4 and November 11, similar incidents happened at St. Leo and St Mary; they destroyed the statues and the altar while also leaving a similar message as the previous,” he said.
The priest quoted one of the messages which reads: “The 10 commandments of the Lord, the Almighty Lord says, stop worshipping idols, false gods made by man. I tolerate no rivals.”
“Worship only but the living God, the Almighty God,”
The Reverend Father stated that the matter had been reported to the police, adding that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Musa Daura, had visited the affected churches.
The Public Relations Officer of the Enugu state police command, Ebere Amaraizu, said the command has begun probe into the matter. He urged the people to be vigilant and assist the police with useful information that may lead to arrest of the culprits.
Already, the Bishop of the diocese, Callistus Onaga, had issued a circular urging the parishes and parishioners to be security conscious.