German missionary freed from captivity in Mali

(Photo: Unsplash/Niklas Ohlrogge)

A German missionary who was kidnapped in Mali last year has been freed, according to church officials.

Father Hans Joachim Lohre had reportedly been living in the capital, Bamako, for 30 years prior to his kidnapping. 

According to Catholic news agency Fides, the missionary was known locally as "Ha-Jo" and had been working at the Islamic-Christian Training Institute (IFIC). 

He had been due to celebrate mass when colleagues noticed that his car was still parked in front of his home.

No one every claimed responsibility for the kidnapping but there has been speculation that it was carried out by Jama'at Nasr al-Islam - the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims - which is linked to al-Qaeda. 

The 66-year-old was kidnapped from Bamako in November 2022 and is reported to have been released on Sunday. 

Patient Nshombo, of the Missionaries for Africa, confirmed his release to Reuters: "Yes, he has been freed, but we have to wait for further details from the authorities." 

Catholic news agency Fides reports that his release was negotiated by the German government, and he has already been flown to Germany on a special flight.

Republished from Christian Today UK.