ROME, 30 (EUROPA PRESS)
A total of 22 missionaries have been assassinated in 2021 in the world, according to data from Agenzia Fides, which recalls that in the last 20 years 536 have lost their lives exercising their work. Africa is the most dangerous continent for them.
In this last exercise, 13 priests, three religious (one man and two women), six lay people have been assassinated. Regarding the continental division, the highest number is registered in Africa, where 11 missionaries were assassinated (seven priests, two religious and two lay people); followed by America, with seven missionaries killed (four priests, one religious and two lay people); Asia, where three missionaries (one priest and two lay people) were assassinated; and Europe, where a priest was assassinated.
As explained by the Fides agency, for some time now, the annual list not only refers to missionaries ‘ad gentes’ in the strict sense, but also tries to register all Catholic Christians engaged in some way in pastoral activity who died violently, not expressly “out of hatred of the faith.”
That is why they do not use the term “martyrs” in the report. “As evidenced by the scant information that could be collected on their biographies and on the circumstances of their death, the murdered missionaries did not stand out for their works, but simply gave testimony of their faith in contexts of violence, social conflict, inequality , of exploitation and of moral and environmental degradation, where the oppression of the strongest over the weakest is a unique rule, without any respect for human life, for rights and for any type of authority “, says the Agency report Fides.
In this sense, they assure that they were aware of everything and on many occasions they had been born in that same land where they died, so they knew well where they were and were not naive.