Persecuted Christians

From left to right: Br. Godwin Eze, Fr. Léopold Feyen, Br. Cyprian Ngeh and Fr. Pamphili Nada among nine missionaries killed in Africa in 2023. Credit: Benedictine Monastery, Eruku, ANS, Immaculate Conception Medical Center Njimafor, AMECEA

Nine Missionaries in Africa among 20 Killed in 2023: Vatican Report

Jan 2, 2024

Twenty Catholic missionaries were murdered in 2023, according to a new Dec. 30 report issued by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency.

A screen grab from a video shared with ACI Africa that shows the parish house at St. Raphael Fadan Kamantan Catholic Church of the Diocese of Kafanchan in flames Sept. 7, 2023. | Credit: ACI Africa

Here’s where Christians continued to face persecution in 2023

Dec 30, 2023

Christians have been persecuted by adversarial groups since the time of the apostles, and in varied parts of the world Christians continue to face existential threats.

This image made from an AFPTV video taken in the Nigerian village of Maiyanga on Dec. 27, 2023, shows families burying in a mass grave their relatives killed in deadly attacks conducted by armed groups in central Plateau State. The death toll from a series of attacks on villages in central Nigeria has climbed to almost 200, local authorities said. | Credit: Kim Masara/AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly 200 Killed in Christmas Weekend Attacks on Nigerian Christians, Leaders Urge Action

Dec 27, 2023

Catholic leaders and others demand government action as victims are buried in mass graves. 

The world’s fourth shrine of Mary, Mother of Persecuted Christians, was dedicated at the Holy Martyrs Syriac Catholic Church in Kista, Northern Stockholm, in Sweden on July 22, 2023. | Photo courtesy of Father Benedict Kiely

There are Now 4 Shrines Dedicated to Mary, Mother of Persecuted Christians

Sep 8, 2023

On the eve of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a leading advocate for the persecuted Church said that awareness of religious persecution in the Western world is growing, thanks to the emergence of four new shrines dedicated to persecuted Christians in the last five years.

Burned vehicles after Good Friday raid on April 7, 2023, in Ngban, Benue state, Nigeria. | Courtesy of Justice, Development, and Peace Commission

Advocates for Nigerian Persecuted Christians Fault US Report Depicting Fulani as Victims

May 6, 2023

Advocates for persecuted Christians in Nigeria are criticizing a new report prepared by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) that they say ignores the many documented atrocities perpetrated against Christians by the Fulani ethnic group in Nigeria and instead paints the Fulani as persecuted victims.  

Janada Marcus, 22, was forced to flee Boko Haram with her family twice before the terrorists attacked them again, killing her father and kidnapping her. | Aid to the Church in Need

"My parishioners shot dead in cold blood": Priests, Lay Faithful Describe Attacks in Niger

Mar 8, 2023

“Oh, what sorrow to have watched three of my parishioners shot dead in cold blood, right before my eyes — and I couldn’t do anything,” Nigerian parish priest Father Bako Francis Awesuh, 37, shared in a new Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) report published Friday.

Pope Francis speaks at his general audience in Paul VI Hall on Jan. 18, 2023. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis: Jesus is "the unsurpassed model of evangelization"

Jan 18, 2023

Pope Francis invited Christians on Wednesday to pray for the grace to have a “pastoral heart” like Jesus that “suffers and takes risks” out of love for others.

Map of Nigeria. | Shutterstock

Nigerian Musician Files Lawsuit with Supreme Court Challenging Blasphemy Conviction

Dec 16, 2022

A Nigerian musician is taking a case to the country’s Supreme Court challenging a death sentence he was given in 2020 for “blasphemy,” a case his lawyers hope will overturn the harsh blasphemy laws that have plagued the country’s Christians and other religious minorities for years.

Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade of Nigeria’s Ondo Diocese. Credit: ACN

Nigerian Catholic Bishop Backs Petition Demanding Justice for Persecuted Christians

Oct 30, 2022

A Nigerian Catholic Bishop has, in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, expressed his backing for a petition requesting that the United Kingdom (UK) government "call on their Nigerian counterparts to bring to justice those responsible for genocidal attacks” in the West African nation.


Pastor and more than 80 others Kidnapped in Attacks on Two Nigerian Churches

Sep 23, 2022

Armed men kidnapped more than 80 Christians last week in attacks on two separate churches in north-central and northwest Nigeria, reported Morning Star News.

Displaced Nigerians camped near St. Francis Xavier Parish in Agagbe, Nigeria, in 2022. Courtesy of Adakole Daniel

Catholic Parish in Nigeria Struggling to Feed Thousands Uprooted by Violent Attacks

Aug 13, 2022

From May 1 to June 30, 70 unarmed persons across Benue State in north-central Nigeria were killed in attacks by Fulani herdsmen, a Catholic bishop says.

Funeral mass for the victims in 2018. Credit: ACN

At Least 65 Christians Killed in Nigeria’s Benue State in Last Two Months: Catholic Bishop

Jul 20, 2022

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi in Nigeria has decried the increase in the number of Christians killed in Nigeria’s Benue State where he says at least 65 followers of Christ have lost their lives “over the past two months” following targeted attacks. 

Bishop Jude Arogundade in Washington, D.C., on June 30, 2022 outside the Belmont House, where he attended a breakfast social with U.S. congressmen and religious freedom advocates. Shannon Mullen/CNA

Nigerian Catholic Bishop Calls Church Massacre "my own September 11th"

Jul 6, 2022

Bishop Jude Arogundade wants the world to know that a genocide against Christians is happening in Nigeria.

A crucifix which was destroyed during an attack on Saint Kisito minor seminary in Bougui, Burkina Faso, Feb. 10, 2022. Aid to the Church in Need

"A lot of material damage” Following Attack on Minor Seminary in Burkina Faso

Feb 12, 2022

Saint Kisito de Bougui, a minor seminary in Burkina Faso, was attacked the night of February 10-11, the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need, ACN, announced Friday, February 11.

The entrance to Christ the King Major Seminary in Fayit, Fadan Kagoma, Nigeria, whence three seminarians were abducted Oct. 11, 2021. Courtesy photo.

Victims of Persecution in Nigeria Must be Listened to, Expert Says, Bishops Decry Violence

Jan 29, 2022

Victims of persecution in Nigeria must be listened to, an expert on the persecution of Christians told students at the Franciscan University of Steubenville on Friday. 

Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan speaks at the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 9, 2021. | Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

"We all weep for these victims": Nigerian Cardinal Responds after Gunmen Kill 200 People

Jan 12, 2022

Cardinal Onaiyekan said: ‘They attack farmers’ fields, kill farmers and no one says anything.’

A map of Kaduna State in Northwest Nigeria/ Credit: Bioreports

Nigeria’s Church Leaders Condemn Sunday Killing, Abduction of Christians in Kaduna Region

Apr 26, 2021

Church leaders in Nigeria’s Kaduna region have condemned the Sunday killing and abduction of Christians of a local church, saying the incident is an expression of the “sorry state of the security situation in the country and in particular, Kaduna State.”

Pope Francis blesses a young boy in the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Bakhdida, Iraq, on March 7, 2021. Photo credits: Vatican Media.

"Terrorism and death never have the last word": Pope Francis in the Nineveh Plains

Mar 7, 2021

Pope Francis entrusted the rebuilding of Christian communities in the Nineveh Plains to the protection of the Virgin Mary at a cathedral that was once desecrated and burned by the Islamic State.

Icon of the 21 Martyrs of Libya. Image courtesy of Tony Rezk, via

Pope Francis Praises Coptic Orthodox Martyrs as "saints of all Christians"

Feb 15, 2021

Pope Francis has praised the courageous witness of the 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians killed by ISIS in 2015, calling them “saints of all Christians.”

Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.

We Have a Lot to Learn this Lent from Persecuted Christians, Advocate Says at Vatican

Feb 14, 2021

In approaching the penitential practices of Lent, Catholics can learn a lot from persecuted Christian communities, an advocate for Aid to the Church in Need said at the Vatican on Friday.