Ondo Catholic Church Reopens Ten Months After Deadly Attack

During the attack, the assailants disguised themselves as worshippers, maiming both old and young worshippers. 

The worshippers are thanking God for sparing them and praying for the repose of the souls of those who died during the attack.


The St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, reopened for services on Easter Sunday, ten months after a deadly attack left over 40 worshippers dead and several others injured. 

During the attack, the assailants disguised themselves as worshippers, maiming both old and young worshippers.

But ten months after the incident, worshippers filled the building to celebrate the 2023 Easter.

Over 40 persons were killed and many injured during the attack.


At the reopening, the Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, the Most Revered Jude Arogundade, called on the Federal Government to be alive to their responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of the citizens.

“The government of this country has failed us in their duty for the protection of lives and properties,” he said, lamenting how quickly the country moves on following attacks.

“The government must wake up and show strength and courage and make sure those who carried out the evil that took place in this church and those carrying out the evils that are going on in this country are brought to book and are punished accordingly,” the cleric added.


For most of the congregants, especially those who witnessed the attack, returning to the same church came with mixed feelings. They recalled how the attack happened and called on the government to tackle insecurity in the country.

This is just as they thanked God for sparing their lives and prayed that God repose the souls of those who died in the attack.

Weeks after the attack, the Nigerian military arrested some suspects believed to have masterminded the attack which it linked to the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola, who spoke after a National Security Council meeting in June, said the attack has no ethnic-religious connection, affirming that the group’s activity has nothing to do with religion.

The victims of the attack were later given a mass burial on June 17 with the Ondo State government releasing the list of those affected by the incident.