Eighteen missionaries killed in 2022 -Dec 30th, 2022

 Eighteen missionaries killed in 2022 https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/46214

Source: Fides

Fides reports that 18 missionaries are known to have been killed in 2022. They were: 12 priests, one religious man, three religious women, one seminarian and one lay person.

The highest number of missionaries killed was registered in Africa, where nine missionaries lost their lives (seven priests and two religious sisters). In Latin America, eight missionaries were killed (four priests, one religious man, one religious woman, one and seminarian and one lay person). In Asia, one priest was killed.

In the last few years, Africa and America have alternated in first place in this tragic ranking: America for eight years from 2011 to 2021 and Africa for three years (2018, 2019, 2021). From 2001 to 2021, 526 missionaries have been killed worldwide.

The little information on the life and circumstances that caused the violent deaths of these 18 men and women missionaries offer us images of daily life, even if in particularly difficult contexts, marked by violence, poverty, lack of justice and respect for human life. Other people who were with them often shared the same fate as the missionaries. Priests killed while they were going to celebrate Mass with the community they led, to break that bread and consecrate that wine that would have been food and life for so many faithful. A religious woman doctor killed at the diocese health center, ready to save the lives of other people, and who knows how many she had already saved in the past. A missionary killed during an assault on the mission: instead of thinking about saving her own life, she was concerned about the safety of the girls housed in the dormitory. Another layman, a pastoral worker, killed on his way to the church to lead a liturgy of the Word for the faithful of that area, who did not have a resident priest.

Witnesses and missionaries of life, with their lives, which they offered up to the end, out of gratitude. As Pope Francis wrote in his Message for World Mission Day 2022, "the disciples are urged to live their personal lives in a missionary key: they are sent by Jesus to the world not only to carry out, but also and above all to live the mission entrusted to them; not only to bear witness, but also and above all to be witnesses of Christ. The essence of the mission is to bear witness to Christ, that is, to his life, passion, death and resurrection for the love of the Father and of humanity".

Names of murdered missionaries by continent


n Africa, nine missionaries were killed: seven priests, two religious women.

Nigeria: Fr Joseph Aketeh Bako, parish priest of St John's Church in Kudenda, in the local government area of Kaduna South, Kaduna State, was kidnapped by armed men who had attacked the rectory; he died while in the hands of his captors, between April 18 and 20, 2022. Fr Vitus Borogo, was killed on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in Kaduna Prison Farm during a raid by armed men. Fr Christopher Odia Ogedebbe was kidnapped and killed during the armed confrontation between police and kidnappers, on Sunday, June 26, 2022, as he was preparing to celebrate Mass at St Michael Catholic Church Ikabigbo, Edo State, where he was parish priest. Fr John Mark Cheitnum was kidnapped on July 15, 2022 from the rectory of Christ the King church in the city of Lere, Kaduna State, diocese of Kafanchan, and was brutally killed on the same day of the kidnapping.

DR Congo: Fr Richard Masivi Kasereka, a Congolese religious of the 'Caracciolini', was killed on February 2, 2022 in eastern DR Congo, by armed men, as he was returning to his parish after celebrating the World Day of Consecrated Life. Fr Godefroid Pembele Mandon, was shot and killed in the night between August 6 and 7, 2022, in the parish of St Joseph Mukasa, in Kikwit, by armed bandits who had attacked the church. Sister Marie-Sylvie Kavuke Vakatsuraki, of the Congregation of the Petites Soeurs de la Présentation de Notre Dame au Temple of Butembo, was killed along with other people, during an assault that took place in the night between October, 19 and 20, 2022 in the village of Maboya, in North Kivu province.

Tanzania: Fr Michael Mawelera Samson, of the Missionaries of Africa, originally from Malawi, disappeared on June 10, 2022 from the youth centre of the church in Mbeya, Tanzania, where he worked. His body was found on the bed of the Meta river, in Sabasaba, on the morning of June 11.

Mozambique - Sister Maria De Coppi, an Italian Comboni missionary, was killed in the assault on the mission of Chipene, in the province of Nampula, diocese of Nacala, in the night between September, 6 and 7, 2022. The attackers destroyed the mission facilities, and Sister Maria was shot in the head and died immediately.


In America, seven missionaries were killed: four priests, one religious man, one religious woman, one seminarian, one layman.

Mexico - The body of Fr Jose Guadalupe Rivas, of the Archdiocese of Tijuana, was found on May 16, 2022 on a ranch in Tecate, where he used to spend some time to rest. And he was killed together with another person, their bodies showed traces of violence. Jesuits FrJavier Campos and Fr Joaquín Mora were killed by armed people, on the afternoon of June 20, 2022, in the church of San Francisco Xavier in Cerocahui, in the Tarahumara region of Chihuahua. Seminarian José Dorian Piña Hernández, of the diocese of Zacatecas, was killed on the night of December 27 during an attempted armed robbery.

Honduras - Pablo Isabel Hernández, layman, leader of the Lenca indigenous group, in western Honduras. Delegate of the Word of God, pastoral worker, was killed on Sunday, January 9, 2022 by unknown men who shot him in the back as he went to lead a celebration. Fr Enrique Vasquez's body was found north of San Pedro Sula, on the night of Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in his car, in a suburban area of Santa Cruz de Yojoa, where he had gone to visit his parents, but without arriving at destination.

Bolivia - Friar Wilberth Daza Rodas OFM, was killed in the night between Holy Saturday, April 16, 2022, and Sunday 17, Easter, by thieves who entered the church of San Francisco, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Haiti Sister Luisa Dell'Orto, Little Sister of the Gospel of Charles de Foucauld, was killed on June 25, 2022 in Port-au-Prince, most likely the victim of an attempted robbery. Sister Luisa was committed above all to the service of street children for twenty years.


In Asia, one priest was killed.

Vietnam: Fr Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, a Vietnamese Dominican priest (OP), was stabbed to death while listening to confessions in the parish of Dak Mót, diocese of Kon Tum, by a mentally unstable man.


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