2018 saw an increase in the number of missionaries killed around the world compared to the previous year

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On the  29th of December, the Fides News Agency reported that there were approximately twice as many missionaries assassinated in 2018 than in the previous year.

Twenty-three missionaries died because of their faith in 2017; there were forty mortalities in 2018— mostly priests. One deacon and four lay people also lost their lives while working for the cause of the Gospel

Of the ordained ministers that died, nineteen missionaries were assassinated in Africa, fifteen in America, three in Asia, and one in Europe.

The following is a breakdown of the countries where the tragedies occurred:


According to Fides, Nigeria in Africa is the country where most persecutions occurred.

Two priests, Joseph Gor and Félix Tyolaha were killed in a Jihadist attack at the Saint Ignatius parish in Mbalom, on the 24th of April. On the 18th of August,  Fr Stephen Ekakabor died due to a head wound that he suffered a year ago. Fr. Jude Egbom died in an attack in Umuwala on the 10th September and Fr. Louis Odudu died on the 19th September, in the hospital of Warri, three days after escaping from his captors.

Central-African Republic

The Central African Republic ranks as the second most persecuted country for Christian missionaries.

Fr. Joseph Désiré Angbabata was assaulted in the diocese of Bambari  on the 22nd March and died some days later. Fr. Albert Toungoumale-Baba was killed in an organised massacre in the parish of Notre Dame de Fatima, on the 1st of May and the parish priest of the Diocese of Bambari, Firmin Gbagoua, was assassinated on the 29th June. The vicar of the Diocese of Alindao, Fr Blaise Mada, and the parish priest of Mingala, Fr Celestine Ngoumbango died during an attack on the Cathedral of Alindao, on the 15th of November. The body of Fr Floren Mbulanthie Tulantshiedi was recovered on the 2nd of March from the Kasai river;  Fr Etienne Nsengiyumva was killed in a holdup, in Kichanga, on the 8th of April.


Fr. Alexandre Sob Nougi was killed on the 20th of July, in the Diocese of Buea. Fr Gérard Anjiangwe was the victim of a military attack on the 4th October, and Fr Cosmas Omboto Ondari was assassinated on the 21st of November.

Ivory Coast

Fr. Bernardin Brou Aka Daniel was killed on the motorway on the 23rd of April.

Fr Víctor Luke Odhiambo died in Sudan, due to injuries that he sustained on the 14th November, in an assault on the Jesuit community of Cueibet.  

Fr John Njoroge Muhia died in Kenya, on the 10th of September during a bank robbery.

Finally, Fr Tony Mukomba was killed in Malawi on the 17th of January.

Continent of America

This year the American Continent was the second most dangerous continent for missionaries with  Mexico being the country where most of the violent attacks happened. Fr Iván Jaimes, the parish priest of Las Vegas, Fr Germán Muniz García, the parish priest of Mezcala,  Fr Rubén Alcántara Díaz, Fr. Juan Miguel Contreras García, Fr Moisés Fabila Reyes, Fr Miguel Gerardo Flores Hernández and Fr Ícmar Arturo Orta, all perished in this Central-American country.


Fr Dagoberto Noguera Avendano was killed on the 10th of March at his home, in Santa Marta and Fr John Fredy García Jaramillo was killed in Medellín, on the 25th of July.


The Salesian priest, Fr José Maltez died on the 5th of June, in Granada from a chest injury sustained during an attack.  In the same country, a young altar boy, Sandor Dolmus was shot dead on the street by paramilitary forces.


Fr. Iraluis José García Escobar, parish priest of the parish of Nuestra Señora de Fátima was killed on the 9th July in a robbery.


Fr Rene Pozo Sampaz, parish priest of San Juan was assassinated at his home. His corpse was found on the 9th of October.

El Salvador

Fr Walter Osmin Vásquez died in the Diocese of Santiago de María, in El Salvador, on the 29th March, due to gunshot wounds.


The corpse of Fr Carlos Riudavets Montes was discovered on the 10th August in Peru, in the indigenous community of Yamakentsa.


In the Philippines, Fr Mark Yuaga Ventura was shot down on the 29th April, in the missionary station of Saint Isidore Labrador, and  Fr Richmond Nilo was killed on the 10th June.


Fr Xavier Thelakkat was stabbed to death in India, on the 1st March by a former parish employee.


In Europe, the only violent assassination happened on the 22nd of February, in Germany, when Fr. Alain-Florent Gandoulou was assassinated after a violent discussion in his office, in the French-speaking community of Berlin.

Source: Aciprensa

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