German diocese transfers black priest after death threat

BERLIN (AP) — Catholic Church officials in Germany say they are transferring a black priest to another post over concern for his safety, after his house and car were attacked and he received a death threat.

The diocese of Speyer in southwest Germany said Friday that the priest, Patrick Asomugha, will leave his post in the parish of Queidersbach next week.

In a statement, it said that the “concerns for the protection and health of Father Asomugha made this step unavoidable.”

The diocese said that Asomugha, who is from Nigeria, has faced hostility in the parish since last year and his rectory was twice broken into. Last fall, his car tires were slashed and in March a death threat was left on his garage door. Two days later somebody smashed bottles against the door of his home. A police investigation is ongoing.

Asomugha said that, under the circumstances, he was unable to do his job in Queidersbach, which is located close to the U.S. Army’s Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl.

“The attack against me have made it almost impossible to lead a normal parish life in Queidersbach,” he said.

The diocese said Asomugha would be given a new role during the course of the summer.

Four years ago, a Congolese-born priest stepped down from his post in Bavaria after receiving anonymous death threats and hate mail for standing up for refugees.

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