So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Valley of Tears: Agenzia Fides lists number of pastoral care workers killed in 2015.

The Information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Agenzia Fides [source/link], has published the statistics concerning the number of pastoral care workers killed in 2015.
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The wake of pastoral workers killed in this historic phase of humanity reveals an unprecedented upsurge. It seems to have no equal in the history, because it is an ongoing globalized persecution. Indeed Christians killed in this year, that our Agency regularly records, belong to 4 continents. America, already for seven consecutive years has the sad primacy with eight pastoral workers killed. Followed by Asia with seven, Africa with five and finally Europe with two priests in Spain.
These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg of global persecution of Christians that, as we read in the Letter to Diognetus, love all, and are persecuted by all. Isis, Boko Haram, discrimination in various countries where religion is an affair of State, make being a Christian difficult and heroic, subject to attacks and massacres. It is necessary that Christ is in agony until the end of the world, when there will be the Kingdom of justice and peace. 
With this dossier and with the timely information of this persecution, our Agency aims to bring to light these dramas of humanity, in order to arouse the conscience of all people of good will to build a more just and supportive society.—Fr. Vito Del Prete, PIME

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - According to information in our possession, during 2015, 22 pastoral care workers were killed worldwide, three more compared to 2013. For the seventh consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral care workers killed is AMERICA.
From 2000 to 2015, 396 pastoral workers, including 5 Bishops were killed worldwide.
The pastoral care workers who died violently in 2015 are:
13 priests; 4 religious sisters; 5 lay people:
  • America: 8 pastoral care workers were killed (7 priests, one religious sister)
  • Africa: 5 pastoral care workers were killed (3 priests, 1 religious sister)
  • Asia: 7 pastoral care workers were killed (1 priest, 2 religious sisters, 4 lay people)
  • Europe: two priests were killed.
Once again the majority of the pastoral care workers in 2015 were killed in attempted robbery, and in some cases violently attacked, a sign of the climate of moral decline, economic and cultural poverty, which generates violence and disregard for human life. They all lived in these human and social contexts, administering the sacraments, helping the poor, taking care of orphans and drug addicts, following development projects or simply opening the door of their home to anyone. And some were murdered by the same people who they helped. "Yesterday, as today, the darkness of the denial of life appears. But shining still stronger is the light of love that overcomes hatred and inaugurates a new world" (Pope Francis, Angelus of 26 December 2015).
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. 

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