There's been a six per cent increase in the number of arrests, abductions and murders of priests across the world.
That's according to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
It says a total of 132 priests and religious workers were under arrest, abducted or killed last year globally, with Belarus, China, Nicaragua and Nigeria being the countries where clergy were most under threat.
Regina Lynch, ACN International executive president, said: “We are deeply concerned about the rise in threats faced by priests, in countries such as Nigeria and Nicaragua, who are at risk often for simply for carrying out their pastoral ministry.
“Authoritarian regimes have resorted to detaining priests and religious in order to punish the Church for speaking out against injustices and human rights violations, or merely for trying to operate freely.”
ACN says the number is actually likely to be much higher due to problems processing data and the fact it's only including confirmed cases.