Anti-Clerical Atrocities in the Spanish Civil War
Nearly 7,000 clerics were killed and churches, convents and monasteries were attacked (see Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War). Some 13 bishops, 4184 diocesan priests, 2365 male religious (among them 114 Jesuits) and 283 nuns were killed. There are unverified accounts of Catholics being forced to swallow rosary beads and/or being thrown down mine shafts, as well as priests being forced to dig their own graves before being buried alive. Pope John Paul II beatified several hundred people murdered for being priests or nuns, and Pope Benedict XVI beatified almost 500 more on October 28, 2007.
Other repressive actions in the Republican side were committed by specific factions such as the Stalinist NKVD (the Soviet secret police). In addition, many Republican politicians, such as Lluís Companys the Catalan nationalist president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the autonomous government of Catalonia –which remained initially loyal to the Republic before proclaiming independence from it– carried out numerous actions to mediate in cases of deliberate executions of the clergy.
44. Julio de la Cueva, "Religious Persecution, Anticlerical Tradition and Revolution: On Atrocities against the Clergy during the Spanish Civil War" Journal of Contemporary History 33.3 (July 1998): 355.
45. Thousands of Servant of God candidates for sainthood have been accepted by the Vatican "General Index: Martyrs of the Religious Persecution during the Spanish Civil War (X 1934, 36–39)"
46. New Evangelization with the Saints, L'Osservatore Romano 28 November 2001, page 3 (Weekly English Edition)
47. Tucson priests one step away from sainthood Arizona Star 06.12.2007
48. Article that explains how the Stalinist NKVD tortured the prisoners in the Checas: 1
49. History website where this situation is explained: 1.