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25 Catholic martyrs died in 2002

At least 25 Catholics died for their faith during the calendar year 2002, according to the Fides news service. The list includes 1 archbishop, 18 priests, 1 Brother, 2 sisters and 2 seminarians and 1 layman. These courageous persons are called affectionately "martyrs of charity" by Pope John Paul II.

Every January Fides, which covers missionary territories, provides a list of Catholics who died during the previous year. The list is not meant to be exhaustive; it provides only the names of those clerics, religious, and Church workers who are known to have died for the faith.

Archbishop Isaias Duarte of Cali heads a list of 10 Catholics who died in Colombia last year. While Colombia saw the highest toll of martyrdom, 10 Catholics died in various African countries.

Most of the Catholics who died for their faith were killed in their own countries. However, there was an Italian priest killed in Brazil, as well as a catechist from Uruguay. Two Irish missionaries were killed: one in South Africa, one in Uganda. A Canadian missionary died in Madagascar, a French nun in Cameroon, and a French priest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Fides lists in previous years have numbered 33 martyrs in 2001, 30 in 2000, 32 in 1999, and 40 in 1998.

Fides via CWN
Fides (includes full list)

6 Jan 2003