Christian persecution

More than 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith, and millions more face bigotry, intolerance and marginalization because of their beliefs, a Vatican official said. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to U.S. agencies in Geneva, told the Human Rights Council May 27 that “credible research” by Massimo Introvigne, a former representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on combating intolerance and discrimination against Christians, “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.” In addition, he said, “in some Western countries, where historically the Christian presence has been an integral part of society, a trend emerges that tends to marginalize Christianity in public life, ignore historic and social contributions and even restrict the ability of faith communities to carry out social charitable services.”

But, in fact, Archbishop Tomasi said, “The Christian religion, as other faith communities,” serves the true good of humanity by educating members in their human dignity, their rights and responsibilities toward others and in serving their communities and the poor with schools, hospitals, homes for the aged, work in refugee camps and other acts of charity. During a meeting in Tirana, Albania, May 21-22, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said, “examples of intolerance and discrimination against Christians have not diminished, but rather increased” in member-states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes 57 countries in Europe, Central Asia and North America.