World News

In 2023, twenty Catholic missonaries were killed


In Africa nine, in America six, in Asia four and in Europe one missionary was killed this year. The victims were one bishop, eight priests, two male religious, one seminarian, one novice and seven laypeople.

The Vatican Fides News Agency reported that twenty missionaries were killed this year. In 2022, this number was eighteen.

The news agency explained that they used the term missionary in a broad sense. They referred as missionary to all the baptized individuals who engaged in the life of the Church.

In the past five years – with the exception of 2020 – Africa was the continent where the most missionaries were killed. This year is no different either. Four victims are from Nigeria, including two priests, a seminar, a Benedictine novice, among them Father Isaac Achi, who was burned alive during an armed attack against his parish. In Burkina Faso two missionaries, in Tanzania one priest, in Cameroon a religious brother, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a parish priest were killed.

In Mexico, two priests and two young catechists fell victim to the violence caused by the drug related insecurity. In the United states of America, Bishop David O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and Fr. Stephen Gutgsell, a priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, were murdered.

In the Philippines two catholic students, involved in liturgical animation, died in a bomb attack during a mass at Mindanao State University in Marawi City. The attack killed four people overall. In Gaza, two women, who belonged to a group of Catholic and Orthodox women working for the poor and disabled in the Strip were killed by an Israeli sniper in the Holy Family Parish.

In Spain, a layperson, a sacristan of the parish of Nuestra Senora de La Palma was killed by a Moroccan, armed with a machete.

Source: Vatican News

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