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Catholic Leaders Highlight Faith Siege in East and West
ICC Note:
From the kidnapping of Bishops in Syria to the killing of Christians across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the Catholic Church is speaking out against the rise of the “siege against Christians,” saying that more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year.”  While this is evident in countries where Christianity is the minority, the Catholic church rightly points out that things are changing, saying “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.”
By Peter Kenny
06/02/2013 Asia (Ecumenical News)- “Intolerance in the name of ‘tolerance’ must be named for what it is and publicly condemned,” said Bishop Mario Toso, the Vatican’s Secretary for Justice and Peace. “To deny religiously informed moral argument a place in the public square is intolerant and anti-democratic.”
That statement was delivered at the High Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-discrimination held in Albania on May 21-22, where Toso said, “Where there might be a clash of rights, religious freedom must never be regarded as inferior.”…
Christians are told, “that they can believe whatever they like in their own homes or heads, and largely worship as they wish in their own private churches, but they simply cannot act on those beliefs in public.
“This is a deliberate twisting and limiting of what religious freedom actually means, and it is not the freedom that was enshrined in international documents,” stated Bishop Toso.
He cited restrictions on Christian speech and conscience that “can become the grounds of a criminal complaint, or at least intolerance, in many European countries.”
The bishop warned that discrimination against Christians is as great a threat to society as anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia and he noted an increase in vandalism and acts of violence against Christians and Christian institutions.
It was, he said “remarkable” that in the 21st Century, Christians are faced with having to “abandon their faith and act against their conscience, or resist and face losing their livelihood.”

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