Christians are the world’s most persecuted religious group, the Vatican’s top diplomat told a summit of international leaders meeting in Kazakhstan, Dec. 1.
On the first day of a two-day meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone urged member nations to fight anti-Christian discrimination in the same way that it fights discrimination against other religious groups.
The 56 member countries of the organization include the United States and Canada, as well as European nations, former Soviet bloc countries, and Turkey, among others. The meeting of heads of state is intended to address security questions. Topping the agenda were transnational threats such as terrorism and human trafficking, recent unrest in Kyrgyzstan and the ongoing tensions in Afghanistan.
Cardinal Bertone said that that worldwide more than 200 million Christians “live in difficult conditions” because of legal and cultural restrictions on worship and religious freedom. “It is well documented that Christians are the most discriminated and persecuted religious group,” he stated.