35 Catholic Missionaries Killed in 2003

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 22, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Last year saw the lives of 35 Catholic missionaries — bishops, priests, religious and lay people — ended violently.

So says the news agency Fides of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples which published the names of the dead, on the occasion of the Day of Prayer and Fasting in Memory of Martyred Missionaries, to be observed on Wednesday.

In 2003 the greatest number of victims was recorded in Africa, particularly in Sudan and Uganda, where rebels continue to combat the established government, and in war-torn Congo. Notable in Burundi was the killing of Archbishop Michael Courtney, apostolic nuncio.

The list of missionaries killed, updated only in Italian, is published by Fides at www.evangelizatio.org/portale/martirologio/martiri/2003.html.

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