Fides, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies recently released data on the number of pastoral workers killed throughout the world in 2013.
Twenty-two were killed worldwide (mostly priests) in 2013, up from 13 the year before. Violent deaths included 19 priests, one religious sister, two lay people. Of these, 15 priests were killed in the Americas, most of those in Colombia, three in Africa, one in Asia, one in Syria, and one in the Philippines, one in Italy.
There remains considerable concern over the fate of a number of others, such as three priests kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Colombian priests who has disappeared, the unknown whereabouts of an Italian Jesuit, Fr. Dall’Oglio in Syria, two bishops (Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos al-Yazigi and Syrian Orthodox Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim), and the Orthodox nuns of the monastery of Santa Tecla.
Of course, there are probably a long list of others of whom there may never be news who have given their lives for their faith in Christ.
Friends, let us not forget in our prayers the souls of these who have died, or the well-being of those missing.