During the 1980s, 115 Catholic missionaries were violently killed. This figure, however, refers only to confirmed cases. Cases of yet unconfirmed murders may increase the number.
According to a Vatican summary for the years 1990 to 2000, there were 604 missionaries killed. The number is significantly higher than the previous decade, however, the following factors must also be considered:
the genocide in Rwanda (1994) that caused at least 248 victims among priests and religious;
the increasing ability of mass media to distribute news from the remotest places;
the count no longer refers solely to missionaries as such, but also includes all priests and religious killed in a violent manner, or who sacrificed their lives aware of the risks.
In the years 2001-2010 the total number of pastoral workers killed was 255. In the year 2011, 26 pastoral workers were killed: 18 priests, 4 women religious, 4 lay church workers.