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Over 100 priests, nuns persecuted in 2022, says report

Many, if not most, Christians in Western countries know little about the grim reality of the persecution of Christians worldwide, and show scant concern for it. That is one primary reason why the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has established this website. We hope to provide Orthodox Christians and Christians of all traditions with information about the scope and magnitude of this problem, and pray that the information we provide will spur lawmakers to act in support of the world’s embattled Christians.

“Over 100 priests, nuns persecuted in 2022, says report,” UCA News, February 9, 2023:

More than 100 priests and nuns were kidnapped, arrested, or killed worldwide in 2022, says a report referring to data from a papal foundation.

Nigeria led the list as “one of the most dangerous countries in which to serve the Church” with the brutal murder of four priests last year, the Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC) of South Korea reported on Feb. 7.

The report uses data collected by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a papal charity recording persecution of Christians globally, published in December.

Mexico stood second with drug cartels killing three priests followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which saw two priests shot dead during the same period.

ACN appealed to all the nations involved to show restraint and refrain from harming the members of the clergy serving in their territories.

“ACN calls on all countries involved to do their utmost to guarantee the safety and freedom of priests, religious sisters, and other pastoral agents who work to serve those most in need,” the report read.

Established in 1947, ACN “has been geared towards charity and reconciliation, providing assistance to Christians in need.”

The report pointed out that it was “almost impossible” to know the number of Catholic bishops and priests detained in China in 2022.

Citing examples of data collected, ACN pointed out that “clerics from the underground Church are repeatedly abducted by the authorities for some time to force them to join the state-approved Church [in China].”

The report cited the example of the disappearance of at least 10 priests, all belonging to the underground community of Baoding (Hebei) in China, between January and May 2022.

The ACN report also highlighted the murders of five women religious while they were engaged in their missionary activities.

They were Sister Luisa Dell’Orto, in Haiti, in June; Sisters Mary Daniel Abut and Regina Roba, in South Sudan, in August; Sister Mari de Coppi, in Mozambique, in September; and Sister Marie-Sylvie Vakatsuraki, who was killed in October, in the DRC.

The report also delved into the cases of kidnapping of priests and nuns in 2022.

During the year a total of 42 priests were kidnapped in different countries, of whom 36 have been released.

Nigeria led the list of priest kidnaps with a total of 28 cases in 2022. Three were kidnapped in December, but the worst month was July, with seven kidnappings.

Among the kidnapped priests, three in Nigeria were murdered and the status of the remaining two priests is unknown, ACN said in its report.

Cameroon came in second with six cases of kidnapping reported. Five of the priests were kidnapped at the same time, in September, and were released five weeks later.

Haiti gangs abducted five priests in 2022 all of whom were later released.

Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Mali had one priest kidnapped each, all released, except for Fr Hans-Joachim Lohre in Mali.

Nigeria also led the list for the greatest number of religious sisters kidnapped in 2022, with seven cases attributed to its name….

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