In the year 2013, 22 Church workers were killed, the Fides news service reports.
That total nearly doubles the toll of 13 pastoral
workers who suffered violent deaths in 2012.
In its annual survey, Fides reported that Latin America was once again
the region that saw the greatest number of Church workers killed,
continuing a 5-year pattern of violence.
Of the 19 priests who were
murder victims in 2013, 15 were from that region: 7 from Colombia, 4
from Mexico, and 1 each from Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, and Haiti.
There were also priests killed in 2013 in Tanzania, India, Syria, Italy,
and (on the last day of the year) the United States. A religious sister
was killed in Madagascar, and lay Church workers were slain in Nigeria
and the Philippines.
The Fides toll includes only murder victims who were engaged in
full-time Church ministry.
Fides avoids referring to the victims as
“martyrs” since the motives for the killings are not always clear.