Holy See expresses deep concern about persecution of Christians around the world

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Freedom_of_conscience_and_religionThe Most Reverend Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations offices in Geneva, has expressed the deep concern of the Holy See about violations of religious freedom and systematic attacks on Christian communities in regions of the world, including parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Speaking to the UN and other international organizations on May 27, 2013, Archbishop Tomasi pointed out that “Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year.”

Prior to this intervention, the Most Reverend Mario Toso, S.D.B., Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, addressed the Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination in Tirana, Albania, on May 21. Archbishop Toso noted that “a sharp dividing line has been drawn between religious belief and religious practice, so that Christians are frequently reminded in public discourse (and increasingly even in the courts), that they can believe whatever they like in their own homes or heads, and largely worship as they wish in their own private churches, but they simply cannot act on those beliefs in public.”

In 2012, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) also pointed out similar concerns when it released a pastoral letter on freedom of conscience and religion. The pastoral letter criticized an “aggressive relativism” in Canada that seeks to relegate religion to the private sphere. It also declared that “when many would like to exclude religious believers from full participation in society’s fundamental institutions is precisely the time to claim the right to do so.”

Link to Archbishop Tomasi’s intervention

Link to Bishop Toso’s intervention

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 29 2013  
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On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.