2012-12-29 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio/Fides) They lived their faith with humility and courage, without fanfare, often in contexts of extreme poverty. According to the data compiled by Fides news agency the 12 pastoral workers killed in 2012 include 10 priests, one religious and one lay person. Emer McCarthy reports Listen:
For the fourth consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral workers killed is America, where six priests were killed. Following is Africa, where three priests and a religious sister were killed. Then, Asia where a priest and a lay woman were killed.
Most of these men and women were killed in robbery attempts. Others were attacked in the street. There is also the case of Don Anastasius Nsherenguzi who was killed, in Tanzania in an attempt to divide young people involved in a heated fight. Or the case of the lay woman Conchita Francisco, who was shot to death in front of the cathedral of Bongao, in the southern Philippines, a heartland of Islamic rebels, terrorists and criminals.
Added to this sad and provisional list drawn up annually by Fides, are the many unknown victims in every corner of the planet who suffer and pay for their faith in Christ with their lives, the "cloud of unknown soldiers of the great cause of God "in the words of Blessed John Paul II. Fides also points out that from 2001 to 2011 281 pastoral workers were killed, while in the previous decade 604 missionaries were killed.