Catholic World News News Feature
15 missionaries killed in 2004 January 03, 2005
Fifteen Catholic missionaries suffered a violent death while trying to spread to Gospel during the past year, the Fides news service reports.
The annual accounting from Fides-- a news service that specializes in reporting fron the missionary territories of the Catholic Church-- included priests, religious, and lay catechists who were killed under varying circumstances. In some cases there deaths were originally classified as accidental or attributed to botched robberies, but in every case the missionary refused to abandon his evangelical efforts despite a dangerous situation.
The Fides list does not include evangelists who died in Iraq, since the circumstances of the conflict there make it difficult to determine the number of missionaries who died, or the motivations of their killers.
Africa accounted for the greatest number of violent missionary deaths, with 6-- 1 each in Uganda, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Chad, and Burkina Faso. There were also 4 apiece in Latin America (2 in Mexico, 1 in Guatemala, 1 in Chile) and Asia (3 in Pakistan, 1 in India), and 1 in Europe (Bosnia-Herzegovina). Ten of the martyrs of 2004 were priests; there were also three lay catechists, one monk, and one nun. Among the victims, 7 were originally from Italy (2 from Italy, 1 each from Ireland, England, France, France, and Bosnia); 3 from Latin American (2 from Mexico, 1 from Guatemala); 4 from Asia (3 from Pakistan, 1 from India); and one from Africa (Burundi).
The list of those who died follows:
- Brother Ignacio Garcia Alonso, a Spanish Christian Brother, killed in Burkina Faso on February 6.
- Father Luciano Fulvi, an Italian Comboni missionary, killed in Uganda on March 31.
- Javed Anjum, a Pakistan layman, killed at Faisalabad on May 2.
- Samuel Maish, also a Pakistani layman, killed at Lahore on May 28.
- Father Ramon Navarrete Islas, a Mexican priest, killed at Ciudad Juarez on June 7.
- Father Faustino Gazziero, an Italian missionary, killed in Chile on July 24.
- Fahter Eusebio Manuel Sazo, a Guatemalan priest, killed at Guatemala City on July 31.
- Nasir Masih, a Pakistani layman, killed at Lahore on August 19.
- Father Job Chittilappilly, an Indian priest, killed at Kerela on August 28.
- Father Gerard Fitsimons, an English missionary, killed in South Africa on October 2.
- Father Macrino Najera Cisneros, a Mexican priest, killed at Jilotlan on October 18.
- Father Gerard Nzeyimana, a Burundian priest, killed at Bururi on October 19.
- Father Kazimir Viseticki, a Bosnian priest, killed at Bosanska Gradiska on November 17.
- Father John Hannon, an Irish missionary, killed in Kenya on November 24.
- Sister Christiane Philippon, a French missionary, killed in Chad on December 26