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Vatican official suggests international recognition of persecution against Christians

Catholic World News - December 07, 2011

In an address to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States suggested that a day be set aside annually to call the world’s attention to the persecution of Christians.

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti told an OSCE meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, that an International Day calling attention to the persecution of Christians would be “an important sign that governments are willing to deal with this serious issue.” The archbishop hinted that governments have not shown the necessary seriousness to date, reminding the OSCE delegates that violence against Christians is commonplace.

Less blatant violations of religious freedom are even more commonplace, Archbishop Mamberti said. He reported that there are today “200 million Christians, of different confessions, who are in difficulty because of legal and cultural structures that lead to their discrimination.” An annual observance could call attention to their troubles as well, he said.

In his wide-ranging speech, Archbishop Mamberti also applauded efforts to curb illegal transfers of weapons and the stockpiling of small arms, called for greater efforts to stop human trafficking, and said that government immigration policies should “pay more attention to the migrants themselves, and not only to their economic role as temporary workforce or permanent settlers.”

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