January 23, 2012

At least 26 Catholic pastoral workers were killed in mission lands or among society's most disadvantaged communities, although they were more often the victims of violent crimes than persecution for their faith, said a Vatican news agency.

Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said that over the course of the year, it registered the deaths of 18 priests, four religious women and four laypeople.

Like other years, "many were killed in an attempted robbery or kidnapping that ended badly, caught in their homes by bandits in search of imaginary riches.

Others were killed in the name of Christ by those opposing love with hatred, hope with despair, dialogue with violent opposition, the right to perpetrate abuse," Fides said.