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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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Nigerian priest moved from German parish over racist threats

A Nigerian Roman Catholic priest, Father Patrick Asomugha is standing down from his parish in Western Germany after a series of race related attacks.

Father Asomugha and the local diocese agreed that his position had become untenable, despite the support of the congregation.

Father Asomugha has led the church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Queidersbach municipality in western Germany since 2017.

More than 600 people attended an anti-racist service to support him last October. But attacks have escalated.

Twice, vandals broke into the vicarage. His car tyres were slashed, and last month came the final straw: a death threat pinned to the garage door.

Father Asomugha said it had become near impossible to live normally. His diocese said it would be irresponsible to expose him to further threats and is moving him elsewhere.

The Bund der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend (BDKJ), an umbrella of Catholic youth organisations in Germany, said it was “deeply ashamed” and was in solidarity with the priest.

The local Catholic youth organisation said it was horrified that racism had forced him out.

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