Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2013 / 11:11 am
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, urged his fellow bishops to be advocates of Christians persecuted for their faith around the world, encouraging prayers as well as action on their behalf.
"We bishops, as shepherds of one of the most richly blessed communities of faith on the planet, as pastors who have spoken with enthusiastic unity in defense of our own religious freedom, must become advocates and champions for these Christians whose lives hang in the balance, as we dare not allow our laudable battles over religious freedom at home to obscure the actual violence being inflicted on Christians elsewhere," Cardinal Dolan told the bishops' assembly Nov. 11.
The U.S. bishops' conference is holding its fall assembly Nov. 11-14 in Baltimore. On Nov. 12, the assembly will elect the successor to Cardinal Dolan, who has served as conference president for the last three years, in addition to serving as Archbishop of New York.
In his address to the assembly, Cardinal Dolan said one million Christians have been killed for their faith in the first years of the 21st century, which he called "a new age of martyrs." Citing the Pew Research Center, he said that over 70 percent of the world's population lives in countries with restrictions on freedom of religion.