During the night of March 27-28, 1996, seven monks of the Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Atlas, near the village of Tibhirine in Algeria, were abducted by... a radical faction of the GIA (Groupe Islamique Armée). On May 23, the GIA announced that the monks had been executed on May 21, 1996. Their remains were identified and their funeral Mass was celebrated in the Catholic Cathedral of Algiers on Sunday, June 2. They were buried in the cemetery of their monastery at Tibhirine on June 4, 1996.
The surviving members of the Atlas community have been helped by volunteers from several other Trappist monasteries in different parts of the world. Their community is now established near Midelt in Morocco.
The seven Brothers taken as hostages and then assassinated were all of French nationality. It has been decided that any future process for their official beatification will be undertaken in union with the other Christian martyrs of Algeria.
The men executed were Dom Christian de Chergé, Brother Luc Dochier, Father Christophe Lebreton, Brother Michel Fleury, Father Bruno Lemarchand, Father Célestin Ringeard, and Brother Paul Favre-Miville.