Catholic Church beatifies 19 slain clerics in Algeria’s Oran

Nuns attend a ceremony at the Chapel of our Lady of Santa Cruz in Algeria's northern city of Oran, during which seven French monks and 12 other clergy killed during the country's civil war were beatified, on December 8, 2018. - Papal envoy Cardinal Angelo Becciu read the official decree stating that the 19 men and women would "from now on be called blessed" at an event in the coastal city, the first ceremony of its kind in a Muslim nation. The 19 Roman Catholic clergy were killed between 1994 and 1996 as Algeria was in the grips of a decade-long civil war between government forces and Islamists that left up to 200,000 people dead. (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP) (Photo credit should read RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images)
Nuns attend a ceremony at the Chapel of our Lady of Santa Cruz in Algeria’s northern city of Oran, during which seven French monks and 12 other clergy killed during the country’s civil war were beatified, on December 8, 2018. – Papal envoy Cardinal Angelo Becciu read the official decree stating that the 19 men and women would “from now on be called blessed” at an event in the coastal city, the first ceremony of its kind in a Muslim nation.
The 19 Roman Catholic clergy were killed between 1994 and 1996 as Algeria was in the grips of a decade-long civil war between government forces and Islamists that left up to 200,000 people dead. (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP) (Photo credit should read RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Catholic Church beatified in the city of Oran on Saturday seven French monks and 12 other clergy killed during Algeria’s civil war, the first ceremony of its kind in a Muslim nation.

May “Monsignor Pierre Claverie… and his 18 companions, faithful messengers of the Gospel, humble artisans of peace… from now on be called blessed,” said papal envoy Cardinal Angelo Becciu, reading the decree of beatification, the first step on the path to Roman Catholic sainthood.

The ceremony was held under tight security at the esplanade of the Chapel of our Lady of Santa Cruz overlooking the Mediterranean city.