In some of his sharpest language to date, Pope Francis condemned global violence against Christians on Thursday in a letter to the vicar of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Maroun Lahham.
In his letter, the Pope decried “the atrocious, inhumane and incomprehensible persecution” of the many “victims of fanaticism and intolerance” throughout the world, especially among Christians.
Francis said that this active persecution is often carried out “before the eyes and in the silence of all.” He called the victims “today’s martyrs, humiliated and discriminated against because of their fidelity to the Gospel.”
The Pope called for a change in global public opinion, urging that society become more “attentive, sensitive and actively engaged in the face of the persecution carried out against Christians” and other religious minorities. He also begged that “the international community not stand by mute and inert in the face of this intolerable crime, which is an alarming departure from the most basic human rights.”
Francis also wished to assure the victims of religious persecution that “the Church does not forget and does not abandon her children exiled on account of their faith,” and promised them that “A daily prayer is raised for them, along with gratitude for the witness they offer us.”
He thanks the communities that care for these brothers and sisters for choosing “not to look the other way.”
“May the Lord reward you, as only he can do, with the abundance of his gifts,” he said.
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