ROME — At the end of every December, the Vatican’s missionary agency Fides puts out a list of Catholic pastoral workers killed in the line of duty during the past year. It’s not a complete index of anti-Christian violence, just clergy and laity murdered while working full-time for the Catholic Church.
For 2014, the agency lists 26 such victims, including 17 priests, one religious brother, six nuns, one seminarian, and one lay catechist. Latin America was the most dangerous zone, accounting for 11 deaths, followed by Africa with 7.
A careful reading of the Fides list debunks three common misconceptions about anti-Christian violence in the early 21st century.