The Fides Agency has released statistics for Catholic missionaries killed in 2017. Murders occurred in America, Africa and Asia.
This year, 23 Catholic pastoral workers were killed around the world. The clergy were affected most in Mexico, where four priests were murdered. Nigeria had the largest toll for lay people, including three catechists who were assassinated by Boko Haram.
According to Fides, the majority of the victims were killed in attempted robbery, which the agency says is “a sign of the climate of moral decline, economic and cultural poverty, which generates violence and disregard for human life.”
Despite the tragedies, those left in their wake have made a concerted effort to spread awareness and move the Church's mission forward in their areas. Examples include memorial ceremonies, documentaries and charitable works.