As this BBC report makes clear, this is likely to be more interfaith outreach from the Nigerian Islamic jihad group Boko Haram, the Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad. Kidnapping infidels and releasing them for ransom or killing them, as well as enslaving them if that option is deemed most advantageous for the Muslims, is fully sanctioned in Islamic law: “As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, ‘When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks’ (Qur’an sura 47, verse 4)” — Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance), trans. by Dr. Asadullah Yate, (London), Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 1996, p. 192.
“Priests and nun kidnapped in Cameroon,” from the BBC, April 5 (thanks to Tommy):
Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun have been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Cameroon, Italy’s foreign ministry and media reports say.
Gunmen ransacked the building in the north-west of the country before taking the hostages, Italy’s Ansa agency said.
The area is close to a stronghold of militant Nigerian group Boko Haram.
The attack comes three months after a French priest was released after being kidnapped by Boko Haram in the same region and held in Nigeria.
The latest attack took place in the district of Maroua in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The gunmen were reported to have arrived by car before entering the building where the priests and the nun were staying at around 02:00 local time (01:00 GMT).
The two priests were from the Vicenza region of Italy, the Italian foreign ministry reported.
It says it has set up a crisis unit to work for their release.
One of the priests had been in Cameroon for more than six years, while the other had arrived about a year ago, Italian media reported.
Last year, seven members of a French family called Moulin-Fournier – four of them children – were abducted by Boko Haram in northern Cameroon and held hostage for two months.