The persecution of Christians should be a focus of governments all across the world that have commitments to human rights and religious freedom. We hope that this appointment will lead to concerted action to protect the Christians of the world who are still vulnerable and subjected to ongoing harassment and persecution.

For more coverage of actions to safeguard religious freedom, see here.

“Christian persecution on the rise in Asia, world,” UCA News, August 23, 2023:

Christians in Asia as well as across the world are facing a rising tide of various forms of persecution, which require global attention and action, says a report.

The recent deadly violence against Christians in Pakistan’s Punjab province and India’s Manipur state are examples of an increase in violent attacks on Christians in Asia, Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation of Korea reported on Aug. 22.

The report refers to a statement from Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachuku, the permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations (UN), who denounced at the General Assembly of the UN Human Rights Council in March that “one in seven Christians today is persecuted.”

The Nigerian prelate’s statement echoed Pope Francis’ lament in 2014 when he said: “There are more witnesses, more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries.”

Besides Pakistan and India, Christian persecution is rampant in Asia’s communist nations – China, Vietnam and Laos, as well as in African nations like Nigeria where armed extremist outfits continue to attack and kill Christians, the report stated.

Even in Israel, the ‘land of the Bible,’ Catholic monasteries have recently been trampled by Jewish extremists, it pointed out.

The burning of churches and Christian houses on false allegations of blasphemy has shown the insecure life of Christians amid threats from Islamic hardliners.

The death of 190 people and destruction of churches and Christian homes in sectarian violence in India’s Manipur state has revealed the ruling government has failed to act but stoked the conflict to gain votes, the report noted.
India is among those countries where “cunning persecution” exists, where political parties “shout tolerance in the front and secretly oppress Christians behind the scenes.”

The report also noted the precarious situation of the Church in Nicaragua, in Central America, which is groaning under the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega. The Ortega regime detained clergy who took the lead in defending democracy, expelled nuns, and froze the property of universities run by the church.

Recently, he denied entry to two native priests returning from the World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon….