PERSECUTIONS, IRISH CATHOLIC BISHOPS: “11 CHRISTIANS KILLED EVERY HOUR” Bishop McAreavey's calls on the institutions to help Middle Eastern Churches

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The President of the Episcopal Council for Justice and peace in Dublin, Mons. JohnMcAreavey’s, has warned against violence on religious minorities. In his speech entitled “the current persecution of Christians” turned Wednesday to the Joint Committee for business and foreign trade, asking the Government in Dublin to launch “urgent coordinated and determined action”, together with the international community, in an effort to solve a situation that represents “a threat to all humanity and to the religious and cultural patrimony of future generations in the world”. Religious persecution, he added, puts at risk “the peace and stability of the entire world” and requires “clear and globalised effort that would solve the causes that give rise to the conflict.”

Every year, said the prelate, at least 100,000 Christians are killed because of their faith, or 273 per day, amounting to eleven victims every hour. Others are tortured, imprisoned, exiled, threatened, attacked, margina lise and, discriminated against. Presently, Christianity is the most oppressed religion in the world and its people are persecuted in at least 110 countries. In addition to this today, 80% of all discriminatory acts perpetrated throughout the world are directed against believers of this religion.

Furthermore, he pointed out, aggravating this situation is the “advance of self-styled Islamic State that has accelerated the brutal genocide against Christians and other religious minorities”, especially in the Middle East, its “in the cradle of Christianity and civilisation”. Therefore we need concrete actions, such as “providing direct aid to minority religious communities, because they” have a right to rebuild the churches, schools, hospitals, houses “, in order to continue contributing” to the education, economy and culture of their countries “.

A strong commitment, then,” continues the Bishop, “is needed in favour of human dignity for the inestimable value of each person before God, without distinction”. “The Church’s concern is for all humanity, he explained, “in fact, the Chairman of the Irish Bishops ‘ for justice and peace – we likewise condemn the brutal killings perpetrated by Isis against homosexual persons and we are sympathetic with Yazidis and with all religious communities who suffer extermination, displacement, lack of respect for their right to freedom of religion and conscience”.

The speech delivered by Mons. Mcareavey ended with five formal requests to: provide direct and immediate help to the Christian churches in the Middle East; support for the Irish Charity associations operating in the field, without fear of damaging the State secularism; to use political influence to awaken a greater awareness on the plight ofreligious persecution; encourage the international community to give political priority to this issue and finally open the doors to refugees fleeing from the Middle East. Before more innocent people die in the name of a fanaticism that God has nothing to do with.

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