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EUROPE/ITALY - At least 1,000 missionaries killed from 1980 to 2011

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - According to information in our possession, during the decade 1980-1989, 115 missionaries were violently killed. This figure, however, is undoubtedly at fault because it refers only to confirmed cases, of which news was received. The summary of the years 1990-2000 presents a total of 604 missionaries killed, according to our information. The number is significantly higher than the previous decade, however, the following factors must also be considered: the genocide in Rwanda (1994) that caused at least 248 victims among ecclesiastics; the increased speed of mass media to spread the news even from most remote places; the count that is no longer related to only the missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but all ecclesiastics killed in a violent manner, or who sacrificed their lives aware of the risks, while not abandoning the people in his/her care . In the years 2001-2010 the total number of pastoral workers killed was 255 people. In the year 2011 26 pastoral workers were killed: 18 priests, 4 women religious, 4 lay. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 21/3/2012)