There were at least 22 Catholic missionaries who were killed around the world in 2021, half of them in Africa, according to a report released by Fides News Agency.
Of the 22 missionaries killed this year, 13 were priests, two were women religious, one was a male religious, and six were lay people.
Half of the total were killed in Africa: seven priests, two religious sisters, and two lay people.
Fides said the annual list “has not only included missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but has tried to register all Catholic Christians engaged in some way in a pastoral activity who died violently, not expressly ‘in hatred of the faith.’”
The report said seven missionaries were murdered in Latin America, three in Asia, and one in Europe.
Africa and Latin America have alternated in the first place of the “tragic ranking,” said the report, adding that from 2000 to 2020, there were 536 missionaries killed worldwide.
Fides said the many victims “whom perhaps we will never know or whose name we will not even know, who in every corner of the planet suffer and pay with their lives their faith in Jesus Christ” should be included in the list.