01/04/2019 Africa(International Christian Concern) – According to a report by the Fides news Agency, Africa was the deadliest continent for Catholic Clergy in 2018. Of the 40 total clergy that were killed last year worldwide, 21 were killed in Africa. This includes 19 priests, one seminarian and one lay worker. This comes after 7 straight year of South Africa being the deadliest in the world for church workers.
Not only were the deaths of catholic church workers higher in 2018, 17 more than in 2017, but overall persecution on the continent continued to rise in several countries. Three of the World Watch List’s Top Ten countries of persecution included Somalia(3), Sudan(4) and Eritrea(6). Nigeria (14) and the Central African Republic (35) ranked second and third for the most violence towards Christians in the world, only behind Pakistan. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) has even recommended to the State Department to designate Nigeria and the Central African Republic as “countries of particular concern(CPC).
CPC is a designation by the Secretary of State declaring a nation guilty of particularly severe violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. This designation can come with severe sanctions against governments who commit these atrocities. However, these sanctions have only been held against Eritrea in recent years.
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org