An American woman working as a Christian missionary in Nigeria has been kidnapped.
Rev Phyllis Sortor, a misisonary with the Free Methodist Church, was taken away by masked gunmen in the central Nigerian town of Emiworo, Kogi state, at around 10am (9am GMT) according to Kogi state police spokesman Sola Collins Adebayo, quoted by AFP.
“Early this morning we received a report that Rev Phyllis Sortor, our missionary in Nigeria, was abducted from the Hope Academy compound in Emiworo, Kogi State, Nigeria by several persons,” the Free Methodist Church said on its website.
In the same statement, Bishop David Kendall urged prayer.
“The US Embassy has been notified, and the State Department and the FBI are working with local authorities to find and rescue her. We are calling on the US church to join together in prayer for Phyllis’ safety and speedy release,” he said.
Nigeria is one of the world’s worst country’s for kidnapping, a major criminal enterprise that makes millions of dollars a year.
Criminal gangs have kidnapped scores of expatriates in southern and central Nigeria over the years. Central Kogi state has also had low level activity by Islamist militants linked to insurgent group Boko Haram, security sources say.