Cardinal Dolan decries worldwide persecution of Christians, comments on events in Libya
September 13, 2012
Addressing the topic of international religious freedom during a symposium at Catholic University of America, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York offered brief comments on the killing of the US ambassador to Libya and recent protests in Egypt.
“Yesterday's events in Libya and Egypt point to what is at stake,” he said. “We need to be respectful of other religious traditions at the same time that we unequivocally proclaim that violence in the name of religion is wrong.”
“150,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year, meaning we have seventeen new martyrs every hour of every day,” he continued. “Can any of us, brother bishops, forget the lumps in our throats and moisture in our eyes last June 13 at our meeting in Atlanta, when Bishop Shleman Warduni of Iraq implored us not to forget our Christians in his homeland? ‘We beg you to help. We want only peace, security, freedom … please no more death, no more explosions, no more injustice.’”
Cardinal Dolan went on to discuss the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, the Middle East (“the epicenter of violence against Christians”), Vietnam, China, and elsewhere. “This animosity against Christians is so rampant that it now has a name: Christophobia.”
Other speakers at the symposium included Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, who analyzed the state of religious freedom in Nigeria; leading Vatican diplomat Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who delivered a keynote address on the Church and religious freedom; and Thomas Farr of Georgetown University.
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