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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.
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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.
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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.
Vatican

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.
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Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

Persecution against Christians increases

2017-01-18

These are the faces of innocent children, men and women. One, two, three and so on up to 215 million.

This is the number of people who suffer violence for the mere fact of being Christian.

The statistics have been revealed in the latest report by Open Doors, who for 60 years has taken the pulse of religious persecution in the world.

Its investigators analyzed 50 countries throughout the world, totaling 4,800 million inhabitants. Out of these, 215 million are Christians and suffer a high, very high or extreme degree of persecution.

These figures estimate that one in 12 Christians in the world is a victim of violence based on religion. North Korea ranks first, where there is an absolute lack of freedom and, therefore, lack of freedom of religion. Somalia follows closely behind, where the conversion of a Muslim to Christianity can lead to death. 
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq are unfortunately still on the list as well. Religious fundamentalism and jihadist terrorism prevent any favorable progress in these countries.

Additionally, Yemen has also joined the macabre "top ten" this year. The poorest country in the Middle East is still immersed in a civil war with Christians in the midst of crossfire. One example of this violence is the kidnapping of Father Tom, a Salesian priest taken by a jihadist group who also murdered four Missionaries of Charity. 

The list also laments the escalation of violence in Southeast Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Laos, Bhutan and Vietnam. Open Doors says that in northern India some 40 million people suffer discrimination and violence from Hindu extremists. 

In 21 of the 50 countries analyzed, 100 percent of the entire Christian population suffers persecution. However, along with the recrudescence of the situation, there are also reasons for hope. There are more and more institutions or initiatives that warn of this persecution and even help those who put their lives at risk for not denying Jesus Christ.


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