Loading
Worldwide Christian persecution a growing trend, report shows
(Click on image to see full size) Infographic: Persecuted and Forgotten? Credit: Aid to the Church in Need
(Click on image to see full size) Infographic: Persecuted and Forgotten? Credit: Aid to the Church in Need
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- In a recently-released summary report called “Persecuted and Forgotten?” Aid to the Church in Need has revealed a worldwide growth in discrimination against Christians in scope and frequency.

The persecution of Christians “has increased over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Ed Clancy, director of evangelization and outreach at Aid to the Church in Need, in an interview with CNA last month, adding that “persecution has many faces, unfortunately, and many places.”

Since there is no single threat to Christians across the world, he said, but myriad forms of oppression, “it might become more incumbent on the Catholic Church, and Christians in general, to be aware of the many dangers that Christians face in the world … in other places (than the U.S.) they’re facing many, many challenges.”

Late last year, the international charity issued “Persecuted and Forgotten?” as a nearly 200-page report. The executive summary, which can be read in full here, condenses the information found there into a concise 32-page booklet.

“It’s a matter of delivering it in a format and in a size that allows people to get a good grasp of what’s happening, and to perhaps seek more information,” Clancy explained.

While it may be easy to focus on the oppression of Christians in such places as Syria and Nigeria, the phenomenon is not restricted to the Middle East, the report shows.

“There are place where communism unfortunately is still in control, like Vietnam and Cuba,” he noted. Citing Vietnam as a country unlike “more radicalized places like Iran” where Christians face overt persecution, “there they use bureaucratic red tape, and the power of the government, to control and limit the Church, and essentially bother people.”

“In Vietnam, we have a lot of seminarians, or seminarian candidates, and they could spend 10-15 years waiting to enter seminary while the government reviews their application,” Clancy said.

“That’s something unheard of here in the West: we don’t think of a young man saying, ‘OK, I want to become a priest,’ and then waiting for the IRS and the treasury department to approve them before they can even submit the application. That’s what it’s like in Vietnam.”

He also noted Venezuela, where there is yet another sort of persecution: “they might attack the Church or Church leaders because they speak out against tactics the government is using.”

Also in South America, Clancy pointed to Colombia. “Of all the aid workers in the world who were killed, almost half were killed in Colombia,” he said, saying “there, the attacks are mainly because of drugs and politics,” citing the prominence of drug cartels.

Clancy also focused on de-Christianization “in the Middle East and parts of Africa,” where Christians are emigrating in the face of militant Islamists.

In his forward to “Persecuted and Forgotten?” Gregorios III, Melkite Greek Patriarch of Antioch, wrote that “Christ is on the Cross still, sharing in the pain that the people of God undergo. In all the countries around the world where Christians suffer for their faith, Our Lord is persecuted too.”

The report’s importance is in providing information to spur both prayer and action on the part of Christians who enjoy religious freedom.

“Unlike so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, we are in the fortunate position to be able to express our opinions and views freely. We can stand up for our rights,” the document notes.

“However, persecuted and other suffering Christians do not always have the freedom to stand up for theirs. That is why Christian communities who live in fear need our help to stand with them and speak up for them.”

The text also highlights North Korea as the most restrictive country in the world for Christians; Christian villagers forced from their homes in Laos; and the disappearance of underground Catholics in China.

“Encouraging prayerful support for the suffering Church is one of the key strands of Aid to the Church in Need’s mission,” the report concludes. It encouraged readers to “select a country or person to pray for – especially during Lent.”

Tags: Persecuted Christians, Catholic, Aid to the Church in Need

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14