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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 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.

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

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

334 million persecuted Christians in the world, according to Aid to the Church in Need


In Rome, Aid for the Church in Need presented its Religious Freedom in the World Report. This study analyzes the situation of 196 countries from June 2014 through June 2016. It concludes that Islamist extremism is the main threat for Christians and other religions. 

It states that over 334 million Christians are persecuted and discriminated because of their religion. 

Cardinal Mauricio Piacenza considers that religious liberty is in decline and he compares the number of modern-day martyrs with that of Ancient Rome.

President, ACN International
"Persecution has always threatened Christians and it will always do, but this does not mean that we should have a pessimistic attitude or do nothing about it.”

Out of the 196 countries that have been put under the microscope, 38 of them host Christian communities that suffer serious violations. In 23 of them, there is strong religious persecution, and in 15 there is discrimination. 

The most dangerous countries for Christians are in Middle East and Africa. They are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, and Somalia, amongst others.

According to Cardinal Piacenza, the worst problem is that the world community remains oblivious to the toil of these communities.

President, ACN International
"We need to open our eyes to the anesthesia that sometimes narcotizes the Christian world and the Western world. They close there eyes or they look the other way, or even worse, do not have time to look.”

Since 2014, one out of five countries has been a victim of an attack from the Islamic State. Its attacks are of extreme cruelty, and they use social media to recruit and terrorize people.

This Islamist extremism, which is felt more strongly every day, has caused a rise in the number of refugees. In 2015, 5.8 million people had to flee their homes and they lost everything. The total number of refugees in the world according to the UN is 65.3 million.

This is the situation that this bishop in Syria has to undergo every day. 

Assyrian Catholic Bishop of Hassaké-Nisibi (Syria)
"Islam does not know what we take for granted: freedom of conscience. Islam does know freedom of religions. Islam does not know the presence of Christians; they tolerate them when they pay their tributes.”

Christians who live under an authoritarian regime, like in China or Turkmenistan undergo difficult circumstances. In two years, in the Chinese province of Zheijang, 2,000 crucifixes have been removed from churches. 

The worst situation is in North Korea and Eritrea. In these countries, freedom of religion does not exist, and faith is punishable with death. Aid to the Church in Need does not have any updated data on these countries.