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Pope Francis

Names of archbishops to receive pallium from Pope Francis

June 28, 2017. On June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will bless the palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops. This year, 36 have been appointed. The list is as followed
Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

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Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

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U.S. Commission singles out worst countries to worship freely

2014-05-31

The latest report from an American religious freedom watchdog listed the 26 worst countries that prosecute their citizens based on religion. Once again Asia dominated the report, but several African countries also made the list. Many of the nations have persecuted, minority Christian populations. 

The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom issued their 2014 report, and divided the countries into three groups. The first includes the worst offenders, officially designated by the U.S. Government as "countries of particular concern,” and which face some type of sanctions.

They include Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. Sudan, in particular, made headlines recently when a judge sentenced 27-year-old Miriam Yahya Ibrahim to death for apostasy. The  mother-to-be was born into a Muslim family, but married a Christian. Her husband, a U.S. Citizen, said they will appeal her sentence.

The second group is made up countries that the non-partisan commission says should also be designated as worst offenders by the U.S. State Department, and face government sanctions. The list is made up Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

The inclusion of Nigeria is no surprise either. Christian communities in the country's north are constantly attacked by Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The Nigerian government has been under scrutiny, after the terrorist group kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April.

The third list is made up of ten countries included in the commission's Tier 2 category. These countries are classified as tolerating religious persecution, but not to the extent and severity to merit government sanctions. The ten nations include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, and Turkey. 

Though not officially included on the list, the commission also discussed several other countries where they determined religious freedom was under attack. Although not a country, the commission singled out Western Europe. They said the region has put in place controversial laws on religious dress and practices like ritual slaughter. They also pointed out the lack of accommodation for conscientious objectors to certain laws, like gay marriage, based on their religious views. 


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