Anti-Catholic violence is turning deadly — for priests.
Since January, at least 17 priests have been killed in violent attacks worldwide. Multiple priests have been murdered in nine countries, including the Republic of Congo, Colombia, El Salvador and India.
Mexico is the deadliest for priests, nearly two dozen have been killed in the last six years.
Nigeria is the second deadliest. Two priests and at least 17 others were killed on the feast of Saint Joseph, part of a mass attack by Islamic militias.
One of the parishioners in the church told of the scene, "We were praying when they stormed the church, firing randomly at us and throwing hand grenades. There was so much damage."
Father Peter Kpaleve told the press after the attack, "Herdsmen have just killed some priests and parishioners who went for their morning Mass today, earlier today and they were ambushed and killed."
Nigerians have been protesting in several countries to bring international attention to the conflict. One protester said, "The perception of this conflict internationally is important to us because that is where we feel we can get a relief and solution to our problem because there is no political will in Nigeria for the solution of this problem."
Priests have been targeted with malice, shown by the violence of the shooting in the Philippines and the bludgeoning in Germany.
A spokesman for one Nigerian diocese racked by priestly murders said this is the total destruction of everything we stand for and believe in.
January 29, 2018: Fr. Peter Neville
February 5, 2018: Frs. Ivan Anorve Jaimes and Germain Muniz Garcia
February 22, 2018: Fr. Alain-Florent Gandoulou
March 2, 2018: Josephite Father Florent Mbulanthie Tulantshiedi
March 1, 2018: Fr. Xavier Telakkat
March 10: Fr. Dagoberto Noguera
March 21, 2018: Fr. Joseph Desire Angbabata
March 29, 2018: Fr. Walter Vasquez Jimenez
April 8, 2018: Fr. Etienne Sengiyumva,
April 18, 2018: Fr. Ruben Alcantara Diaz
April 20, 2018: Fr. Juan Miguel Contrera Garcia
April 24, 2018: Frs. Joseph Gor & Felix Tyolaha,
April 27, 2018: Fr. Moises Fabila Reyes
April 29, 2018: PFr. Mark Anthony Yuaga Ventura
May 1, 2018: Fr. Toungoumale Baba