18 priests, one Deacon, 2 nuns and 8 laymen lost their lives last year while doing missionary work. Credit: Belga
The Catholic Church of Flanders reported on Wednesday via a statement on their website Kerknet that 29 catholic missionary staff were killed last year while working in various missions around the world.
This compares to 30 killed in the previous year 2018, which was an increase from 23 in 2017, according to statistics compiled by Vatican’s missionary agency Fides. Of the 29 killed last year, 18 priests, one Deacon, 2 nuns and 8 laymen lost their lives while on a mission.
For a second year in a row, Africa is listed as the most dangerous continent to do missionary work, where 12 priests, 2 laymen and one nun were killed last year. Other victims were claimed in missions in South America, Asia, and Europe, Portugal specifically.
Missionaries risk getting exposed to violence during robberies, hold-ups or simply getting caught in the middle of wider local violence or areas affected by civil wars where missions are usually located, Fides claims.