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2 out of 3 people can’t practice their religion

2010-01-05

According to Pew Forum, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington D.C, the 10 countries where Christians suffer from persecution are Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, China, North Korea, India, Iraq, Malaysia, Mauritania and Yemen.

Fr. Joaquín Alliende
President, “Aid to the Church in need”
“The main question is not why persecution exists, but, why wouldn’t IT exist, because if we would have adapted the Gospel to the extend of the righteous then the shocking and unpleasant parts of the Gospel would be ignored. It’s normal for a Church that is faithful to Christ to be rejected.”

With the help of Pope Pius XII, “Aid to the Church in need” a Catholic organization, has been working since World War II in these countries.

In Africa, the organization helps all Christians in Sudan. They are not only living in the middle of a war torn region, they are persecuted by the Islamic government.

Since the 60’s, “Aid to the Church in need” has a presence in Latin America, like Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia where the church is restricted or Chile where there’s a campaign that aims to build parishes in the poorest areas.

Another country where evangelization hits some walls is Cuba.

Fr. Joaquín Alliende
President, “Aid to the Church in need”

“I’m just back from Cuba, where I’ve been with the Cuban Bishops, talk with government prisoners and there’s a beautiful horizon in a place where evangelism is very difficult but that’s what makes it promising. It’s a great sign of hope.”

In Europe and the United States, while religious freedom does exist, the Church is met with indifference. That’s why “Aid to the Church in need” helps develop activities of formation so that faith becomes a personal decision, not part of cultural heritage.

Ecumenical dialogue is also one of the essentials of "Aid to the Church in Need" and a key aspect in the fight for religious freedom.

Fr. Joaquín Alliende
President, “Aid to the Church in need”

“We were told that John Paul II said “how are we going to find ourselves if we don’t know ourselves”. I was with the Patriarch of Moscow and I know he has intentions of coming together. And this pope is open to that, I’ve heard it first-hand, it’s something fundamental of his pontificate”.

According to the figures, between 2006 and 2008, 38 percent of world government limit religions freedom. 90% of the countries, religious groups must register to work but another 60% of them discriminate against certain religions.

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