WARNING: Details in this article may be too graphic for some readers.
Many families are mourning the loss of their church family members after multiple people opened fire and set off explosives inside a church in Nigeria.
On June 5 St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state was violently attacked just as people started to gather for worship.
According to Bishop Jude Arogundade of the Ondo Diocese, gunmen invaded the church while other gunmen outside also killed churchgoers who were fleeing in terror.
On top of the people who were killed by explosives or guns, it was reported that a priest was also abducted. The number of people slain is yet to be determined, however, early reports say that at least 50 people were killed, including many children.
I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Today.— Arakunrin Akeredolu (@RotimiAkeredolu) June 5, 2022
The vile & satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years. pic.twitter.com/30fMbfnOxc
The governor in the area, Rotimi Akeredolu tweeted that the assailants "will be hunted down and they will pay for their crimes."
In a separate tweet, Akeredolu says, "I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, today."
For six straight days starting on June 6, Akeredolu ordered all flags in Ondo state to be at half-mast.
"The pope has learned of the attack on the church in Ondo, Nigeria and the deaths of dozens of worshippers, many children, during the celebration of Pentecost," says the Pope in a statement. "While the details are being clarified, Pope Francis prays for the victims and the country, painfully affected at a time of celebration, and entrusts them both to the Lord so that he may send his Spirit to console them."
According to Open Doors, Nigeria is the 7th hardest country to live in while being a Christian. This attack is not the first one of it's kind this year.