Vatican envoy implores UN to recognize bias, threats against Christians
November 02, 2010
The Vatican’s representative at the UN denounced discrimination against Christians in an emotional address on November 1.
Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the permanent observer for the Holy See at UN headquarters in New York, cited the massacre at a church in Baghdad as a vivid example of the dangers that Christians face. He reminded his listeners that he had been stationed in Iraq until recently, and was personally acquainted with some of the massacre victims.
The archbishop said with dismay that a UN report on religious tolerance did not “note the fate of Christians who have been driven from their homes, tortured, imprisoned, murdered or forced to convert or deny their faith around the world.” International leaders must address the oppression of Christians, he insisted.
Archbishop Chullikatt said that although the Holy See favors efforts to protect religion from “hate speech and incitement to violence,” his delegation was uneasy with the approach that targets “defamation of religion.” In practice, he said, measures promoted to stop “defamation of religion” have actually “served as a means for State-sponsored oppression of religious believers.”