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Test yourself: Can you list the main places at war on this Day of Prayer?

Rubble in aftermath of war.

deniska_ua | Shutterstock

John Burger - published on 10/27/23

While focus is on the Holy Land, the suffering caused by war affects millions around the globe.

Pope Francis has called for a worldwide Day of Prayer, Fasting and Penance for an end to the war in the Holy Land. The pope will conduct a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on Friday, October 27 at 6pm.

Indeed, Israel’s war against Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that conducted a deadly assault on Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, plunging the region into turmoil, has dominated world headlines. The situation threatens to escalate, drawing in other nations in the Middle East, as well as other world powers. 

But for many years, Pope Francis has often said that a Third World War is actually being fought piecemeal. 

He has also said that in war everyone loses, and it is especially difficult on the poor. 

As Christians answer the Pope’s appeal for a day of prayer this Friday, it’s a good time to be reminded that ordinary citizens in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Ukraine, and Russia are not alone in suffering the damaging effects of war, sieges, blockades, and terrorism.

More than 114 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes by the end of September 2023, due to conflict, persecution and human rights violations, UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Wednesday.

“War in Ukraine and conflicts in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Myanmar, drought, floods and insecurity in Somalia, as well as a prolonged humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan have been the main drivers of the alarming new total,” the UNHCR said.

Currently, according to the Geneva Academy, there are more than 110 active armed conflicts in the world. 

Many are forgotten. Most don’t make world headlines.

Where are the 110?

In terms of numbers, the Middle East and North Africa might be the region suffering the most armed conflicts: there are 45 raging in MENA.

More than 35 armed conflicts are ongoing in the rest of Africa.

In Asia, there are 21 armed conflicts going on right now.

Europe now has seven armed conflicts on its territory.

And six armed conflicts disturb Latin America.

The following list is taken from a page on Wikipedia outlining current armed conflicts. Next to each listed conflict is the year it began and the number of cumulative fatalities:

Major wars

These are conflicts in which there have been 10,000 or more combat-related deaths in the current or past year.

Internal conflict in Myanmar (1948), 210,000.

Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002), 54,000.

Mexican drug war (2006), 69,000.

Russo-Ukrainian War (2014), 220,000.

Ethiopian civil conflict (2018), 600,000.

War in Sudan (2023), 11,501

Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1948), 27,000.


These conflicts has seen 1,000-9,999 combat-related deaths in the current or past year.

Colombian conflict (1964), 453,000.

Afghan conflict (1978), 2,584,468.

Somali Civil War (1991), 500,000.

Allied Democratic Forces insurgency (Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda) (1996), 9,000.

Communal conflicts in Nigeria (1998), 19,000.

Ituri conflict (2003), 65,000.

Iraqi conflict (2003), 1,215,000.

Kivu conflict (2004), 25,000.

Sudanese nomadic conflicts (2008), 400,000.

Boko Haram insurgency (2009), 368,000.

Syrian civil war (2011), 613,000.

Nigerian bandit conflict (2011), 14,000.

Yemeni civil war (2014), 377,000.

Gang war in Haiti (2020), 3,700.

Minor conflicts

This category is defined as having 100-999 combat-related deaths in the current or past year.

Kurdish separatism in Iran (1918), 58,000.

Jamaican political conflict (1943), 1,081.

Indo-Pakistani Wars (1947), 2,000,000.

Insurgency in Balochistan (1948), 21,000.

Insurgency in Northeast India (1954), 40,000.

Papua conflict (1962), 500,000.

Naxalite-Maoist insurgency (1967), 14,369.

Civil conflict in the Philippines (1969), 213,000.

Kurdish-Turkish conflict (1978), 60,000.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (1988), 49,000.

Insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2004), 61,549.

Libyan crisis (2011), 43,000.

Sinai insurgency (2011) 7,353.

Central African Republic Civil War (2012), 14,000.

Insurgency in Northern Chad (2016), 644.

Philippine drug war (2016), 32,000.

Insurgency in Cabo Delgado (2017), 6,000.

Anglophone Crisis (2017), 6,000.

Bangladesh drug war (2018), 800.

Salvadoran gang crackdown (2022), 152.

Las Anod conflict (2023) 688.

Skirmishes and clashes

Fewer than 100 combat-related deaths in current or past year.

Korean Conflict (1948), 3,000,000.

Katanga insurgency (1963), 3,400.

Western Sahara conflict (1970), 21,000.

Cabinda war (1975), 30,000.

Internal conflict in Peru (1980), 70,000.

Casamance conflict (1982), 5,000.

Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency (1987), 100,000.

Internal conflict in Bangladesh (1999), 1,500.

Conflict in the Niger Delta (2003), 2,500.

South Thailand insurgency (2004), 7,294.

Insurgency in Paraguay (2005), 145.

Armed conflict for control of the favelas in Greater Rio de Janeiro (2006), 700.

Insurgency in Egypt (2013), 5,800.

Islamic State insurgency in the North Caucasus (2017), 200.

As one can see, hardly any part of today’s world is untouched by conflict. Information about various current and potential conflicts around the world is also detailed at the International Crisis Group’s conflict tracker

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