December 16, 2010.
Benedict XVI has called for respect to the right of religious freedom in the world, and especially in the Middle East. He has asked the West to end the hostility and prejudice aimed towards Christians. Benedict XVI stated that no person “should have to deny God in order to have their own rights” nor should they be confronted with barriers to “join another religion or to profess none.”
This is part of the Pope's message for the World Day of Peace on January 1, which is titled “Religious Freedom, the Way to Peace.”Card. Peter Turkson
President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace“This possibility of man in recognizing in full and distributing them is the key for development the whole art is significant in our society, democratic principles, values, the depth and understanding of human rights. All of these belong to this. So we think that when this is not respected, human rights doesn't advance for that, it degenerates.”
The most persecuted religion in the world is Christianity, with at least 200 million people facing some form discrimination. According to the latest report on religious freedom published by the Catholic organization Aid to the Church in Need, seven out of ten people can not live their faith in full freedom.
According to the latest study by the State Department of the United States, the countries with the least amount of religious freedom are Myanmar, China, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Eritrea.Bishop Anthony Frontiero
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace“Between 200 and 300 million Christians face daily threats of murder, beating, imprisonment and torture. And a further 350 to 400 million encounter discrimination in areas such as jobs and housing”."The number of Christians killed for their faith each year is somewhere around 150,000 people.”Card. Appiah Turkson
President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace“That of North Africa, all of these are supposed to be Islamic countries, so when there is any Christian, there is a minority wherever, and almost always without citizens' rights. Yet people are there, they suffer. So it's difficult to say who are suffering the greatest and who are suffering the most.”
The Pope said in his message that the lack of religious freedom is “a threat to peace and prevents authentic integral human development.”
The Pope warned Europe of the danger of denying religious symbols, as “fomenting hate” and prevents a “balanced” vision of the secularization of institutions.
At the same time he pointed out that moral relativism does not lead to peaceful coexistence. It is actually a “source of division and denial of being human.”
Benedict XVI denounced fanaticism
and religious fundamentalism because they are extremes that destroy pluralism and the good sense of secularism.
He also noted that institutions and laws can not ignore the religious dimension of society. And societies that impose or deny religion by violence commit an injustice to the people and with God.