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Italian foreign minister: stopping anti-Christian violence should be international priority

Catholic World News - July 20, 2012

Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi has said that a drive to stop anti-Christian atrocities should be a top priority of world leaders.

Citing the killing of 800 Christians in Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group since the beginning of this year, Terzi said that violence against Christians has been particularly common in Africa. “Stopping these atrocities must be the priority of the international community,” he said.

Terzi was speaking at a conference sponsored by the newly established Observatory for Religious Freedom in Rome. This Observatory, a joint creation of Italy’s ministry of foreign affairs and Rome, was set up to monitor and combat violations of religious freedom in the world especially in the areas "at risk" where minorities are under persecution.

At the July 19 event, Terzi outlined Italy’s foreign policy initiatives to promote religious freedom and protect religious minorities throughout the world, a priority of Italy’s foreign policy and its ethical dimension. This key strand of Italy’s international activities has recently gained an even higher profile in the wake of the horrific episodes of violence against Christian communities in the African continent.

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