Atlanta, Ga., Jun 14, 2012 / 09:10 am
The growing perception of religion as a threat to a free society is leading to persecution of believers around the world, according to speakers at a recent meeting of the U.S. bishops.
"Religious liberty is in global crisis," said Thomas F. Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University.
He explained that the crisis has "enormous consequences for the Church, the United States, the fate of democracy worldwide, the defeat of religion-based terrorism and the cause of international peace and justice."
Farr spoke June 13 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as part of a two-hour discussion on both domestic and international religious freedom concerns.
His address came during the conference's June 13-15 general assembly in Atlanta, Ga.
Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, noted that Christians around the world face threats ranging from Church bombing to discriminatory legal restrictions.