Monday, March 15, 2010

Lent Geography: Map of Catholic Missionaries Killed in 2009

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Being a missionary is still a very dangerous occupation. In recent years Catholic missionaries have been held hostage, killed by Jihadist extremists, and murdered by land owning oligarchs, to name a few fates. Most murders of missionaries though are done by criminals who believe the missionaries have wealth worth robbing and killing for.

Such was the case in 2009. I created the map above based on information from the Vatican's International Fides Service. Each marker has the sad story of one who was killed in the line of duty. Most but not all, as you can read, were the victim of people interested in material gain and not interreligious violence. The one exception is Farther James Mukalel who was killed in an act of anti-Christian violence in the religiously mixed Indian state of Kerala.

Out of the 37 missionaries killed, 21 were murdered in Latin America and 11 were killed in Africa. Of the 11 African deaths, 7 were murdered in the Great Rift Valley around Lake Victoria. It is little surprise that Latin America's drug and land violence along with the Great Rift's Valley overall instability have proven to be the martyr makers of 2009.

Country # Killed
Colombia 6
Brazil 6
South Africa 4
DR Congo 4
Mexico 3
Kenya 2
Cuba 2
El Salvador 2
Burundi 1
Guatemala 1
India 1
Philippines 1
France 1
Honduras 1

Latin America

Great Rift Valley 7

All of Africa



DH said...

About how many Catholic missionaries are there? Whats the percentage killed?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have missionaries throughout the world too, but it is extremely rare that one is killed.

Catholicgauze said...

Alot and pretty small. I once heard from a State Department friend that attacks (lethal and non-lethal) on LDS missionaries is a good measuring tool of anti-Americanism in certain places because of the image of LDS being an American religion.