16 priests, 2 lay volunteers, a
monk and an Archbishop were killed in 2008. It's a total of 20 Catholic church
workers who lost their lives violently last year.
The Vatican Fides agency
published the list of murdered missionaries in 2008. India ranks as the most
dangerous place for Catholics because of violence against Christians in Orissa,
where 3 priests and a lay woman were killed.
The Chaldean Archbishop of
Mosul, Irak, Mons. Paulis Faraj Rahho was kidnapped and murdered in February.
Benedict XVI held a Mass of Suffrage for him and prayed for the peaceful
coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Iraq.Benedict XVIIn
profound uni-on with the Chaldean Community in Iraq and in the diaspora, we have
mourned Archbishop Rahho's death and the inhuman way in which he was obliged to
end his earthly life. Today however, in this Eucharist that we are offering for
his consecrated soul, we would like to thank God for all the good He worked in
him and through him.
Although the number of killed missionaries has
decreased in the last years, violence against Christians is growing in Asia ,
Africa and the Middle East.
1994 was the bloodiest year for missionaries
due to the genocide in Rwanda where 248 church workers were
Even today Africa is seeing a new wave of violence, this time
in the Democratic Republic of Congo where a lay volunteer lost his life on
December 15, last but not least in 2008's list of murdered missionaries.