That is to say, people who believe in our Lord, and live out their lives faithful Christ's teachings "suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith" (Open Doors USA).
Did you know Pope Benedict XVI had something to say about religious persecution?
According to Vatican News, "Holy Father Benedict XVI...stressed that in many Countries Christians are deprived of fundamental rights and sidelined from public life; in other countries they endure violent attacks against churches and their homes. At times they are forced to leave the countries they have helped to build because of persistent tensions and policies which frequently relegate them to being second-class spectators of national life" (Vatican News).
Did you know as a faithful follower of Jesus, you can do something to help?
- Stay informed. See Catholic News Agency for more information.
- Get involved. See Aid to the Church in Need or Where God Weeps for some suggestions.
- Let others in your parish know, and begin to dialogue and allow the Holy Spirit to move each of you to employ your collective skills, talents and prayer to aid others in need.
" It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person."
+ Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 913
Persecution of Christians (Catholic TV)
- American Center for Law and Justice - By focusing on U.S. constitutional law, European Union law and human rights law, the ACLJ and its affiliated organizations are dedicated to the concept that freedom and liberty are universal, God-given and inalienable rights that must be protected.
- Security Adviser McDonough on Religious Freedom - "[W]e need to be respectful of other religious traditions at the same time that we unequivocally proclaim that violence in the name of religion is wrong" (Cardinal Dolan as cited in McDonough, 2012).
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom - "Across the global landscape, the pivotal human right of religious freedom was under escalating attack. To an alarming extent, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief was being curtailed, often threatening the safety and survival of innocent persons, including members of religious minorities" (Annual Report, 2012).
- Christian Persecution: Christian Nigeria’s Witness for Jesus in the Face of Boko Haram’s Terrorists - "The destruction included 'the Blessed Sacrament that was desecrated,' according to Msgr. Ike’s statement" (Patheos.com).
- Father Gerald Murray on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI - "[T]he pope is very intent that all believers in God come to a common understanding of how we defend the basic right to religious freedom in the modern world, the right of believers to be able to practice their faith in the public square without coercion; also very sensitive to the right of people to be able to change their religion without suffering penalties of the civil law."
- Persecution - "Persecution may be defined in general as the unlawful coercion of another's liberty or his unlawful punishment" (NewAdvent.org).
- Religious Persecution in China - "Catholic missionaries are treated terribly by Chinese officials" (Loyola University).
- Roll of missionary workers killed in 2010 - "During 2010, at least 23 missionary workers were killed. They included one bishop, 15 priests, one male religious, one religious sister, two seminarians and three lay people" (Independent Catholic News).
- Five Myths About Anti-Christian Persecution (National Catholic Reporter)
- Our First, Most Cherished Liberty (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) - "Freedom is not only for Americans, but we think of it as something of our special inheritance, fought for at a great price, and a heritage to be guarded now. We are stewards of this gift, not only for ourselves but for all nations and peoples who yearn to be free."
- Muslim Persecution of Christians: December 2012 (FrontPageMag).
- Pope highlights Christian persecution in speech to diplomats (Catholic News Agency)
- Persecution Stories - Stories involving the persecution of Christians around the world (Catholic League).
- EWTN’s New Series, ‘The Suffering Church,’ Reveals the Truth About Catholic/Christian Persecution Around the World – And What You Can Do About It
- Fr. Barron comments on A Persecuted Church and Its Heroes - "The fastest growing religion in the world is also the most persecuted religion in the world" (Fr. Robert Barron).
- Religious Freedom, Middle East Violence and Protests (Raymond Arroyo)
- The situation of Christians in Iraq (Where God Weeps)
- Church in Need - As an international Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need’s mission is to help suffering and persecuted faithful worldwide.
- Hudson Institute: Center for Religious Freedom - The Center for Religious Freedom promotes religious freedom as a component of U.S. foreign policy by working with a worldwide network of religious freedom experts to provide defenses against religious persecution and oppression.
- Movement for the Abolition of War
- Odyssey Network - "Stories of Faith in Action. Stories Changing the World. Odyssey Networks, founded in 1987, is the nation's largest multi-faith coalition dedicated to producing and distributing media that fosters understanding among people of different beliefs and perspectives and that enriches spiritual life."
- The Woolf Institute - The Woolf Institute is a global leader in addressing one of the most pressing and rewarding challenges of our time: the current and historical relationships that exist between the faith-traditions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, with special reference to Europe and the Middle East.
- Vatican Radio - The voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world!
- Where God Weeps - Where God Weeps is a weekly TV & Radio show produced by Catholic Radio & Television Network with the support of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
- World Watch List - The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst.
American Pastor [Father of two] Jailed in Iran Describes Physical, Psychological Abuse