A Catholic priest, Rev. Father Fidelis Ifeanyichukwu Ugozo, was reportedly beaten to a state of coma by a group of idol worshippers in Ugbenu, Anambra State.

The attack was led by Gabriel Ikegbunam, who believed that the priest and his followers were trying to burn down the deity in their village.

Ikegbunam had initially tried to stop the procession but soon called for help when the group overpowered him, Anambra Broadcasting Service reports.

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Father Ugozo, who was reportedly stabbed in the face was taken to the St. Joseph’s hospital, Adazi Ani, by the Ebenebe Deanery Chaplain.

Speaking on the matter, Cletus Nwankwo, who is a former catechist at St. Raphael’s Parish, Ugbenu, disclosed that the area is notorious for its practice of paganism.

He said , “They moved from Agueke village to Obiagu and decided to branch at Obubo before Ikegbunam blocked them and in the process, he called some of them and told them that Catholics are coming to burn their shrine."

"Soon the youths trooped out, wielding dangerous weapons such as axe, gun and machetes."

Igwe Lawrence Egwuonu, a traditional head in Ugbenu community revealed that the attack on the Christian group is not justifiable and thinks the perpetrators of such act will be punished.

“After investigation, I discovered that they were all liars. None of their shrines were burnt and I can defend it anywhere.

“It was Ikegbunam that incited others to attack the priest and other Christians.

"Their greatest mistake was touching the priest and destroying the Blessed Sacrament. It is a sacrilege and they will pay for it,” he said.