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Rome Reports

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Report shows Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world

In 21 of the 194 countries studied, there is hardly any religious freedom. The report notes that there are two types of religious persecution: one by policy and one by members of other religions.

Peter Sefton Williams

Chairman, Aid to the Church in Need

“Political oppression and discrimination, come from countries like China, from Cuba, from North Korea, and from countries like Vietnam.”

The persecution that comes from other religions is particularly acute in some countries with a Muslim majority.

Peter Sefton Williams

Chairman, Aid to the Church in Need“Places like Saudi Arabia where it?s impossible for any Christian or indeed any other group, non-Muslim group, to organize and to have open public prayer. We think of places like Somalia, or we think of Sudan.”

The vice president of the Catholic bishops of Pakistan denounced the worsening situation of Christians in their country. He says a few years ago there were no murders based on religion and it is only now they are occurring.

The Government is not responsible for any of these murders. Those responsible are new fundamental Islamic groups operating behind the backs of the authorities.

He also criticized the blasphemy law in Pakistan, which invokes punishments as severe as the death penalty to anyone who speaks out against the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad.

The bill is dangerous because it is very difficult for the victim to prove their innocence since most people have few resources to pay for this. So far the government has not executed anyone for blasphemy, however defendants have been killed by radicals outside the government.

Msgr. Joseph Coutts

Vicepresident, Episcopal Conference of Pakistan

“We want to have our equality and all our rights as equal citizens of Pakistan. We are not against our country, we want to stay in the country. We are not leaving the country.”

The report also reveals that religious freedom has declined in the United States and Europe by the radicalization of secularism. Especially in countries like Spain, which prohibits the presence of religious symbols in public places. France was cited for the discrimination of Islamic communities and Germany for the hostility of some sectors against the Catholic Church because of its position on family issues and defense of life.

Overall, the study has shown that religious freedom has declined worldwide and that this right is under greater threat today than it was two years ago.