According to information gathered by Fides News Agency, 20 missionaries in various parts of the world were killed in 2020: 8 priests, 1 male religious, 3 women religious, 2 seminarians and 6 lay people. On the continental level, the highest number of missionary deaths recorded this year was once again in America, where 5 priests and 3 lay persons were killed. This was followed by Africa, which registered the deaths of 1 priest, 3 women religious, 1 seminarian and 2 lay people. In Asia, the amount was 1 priest, 1 seminarian and 1 lay person; while Europe saw the deaths of 1 priest and 1 religious. In the last 20 years (2000-2020), 535 pastoral workers have been killed worldwide, including 5 bishops.
For some time now, the annual list published by Fides records the deaths of not only missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense of the word, but of all baptized persons who have died violently (not expressly “out of hatred for the Faith”) while carrying out the pastoral work of the Church. None of these missionaries performed any striking feats or actions, but simply shared the daily life of the majority of the population, offering society their witness to the Gospel as a sign of Christian hope.