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British diplomat urges caution in EU defense of persecuted Christians

January 13, 2011

Justin Bedford, the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy to the Holy See, told Vatican Radio that the European Union needs to be cautious in defending the rights of persecuted Christians in Muslim societies.

“We see increasingly, where we see [Islamic] extremists are gaining a foothold, attempts to divide those societies through attacks against the Christian minorities in those countries,” he said.

In response to such extremism, “we need to be very careful as to how the West, and the EU as part of the ‘Western construct,’ approaches the question of religions,” Bedford stated.

“If the West took the concept of Christianity under its umbrella,” said Bedford, extremists could be given another reason “to continue to divide those societies … we would seek to avoid that, if possible,” he said. “If this question is discussed in the EU we would need to find an approach which did not divide societies, but sought to unite them and present solidarity between Christians and Muslims as they confront extremists.”


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  • Posted by: Dennis Olden - Jan. 13, 2011 9:27 PM ET USA

    What utter nonsense! Can you say "appeasement"?

  • Posted by: rpp - Jan. 13, 2011 7:33 PM ET USA

    So he is basically saying that Christians in predominately Islamic countries, or even within regions of Western countries like France, Germany or the Detroit area of Michigan, should be abandoned to the tender "mercies" of Islamic "extremists". Profiles in courage this is not.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jan. 13, 2011 6:06 PM ET USA

    To paraphrase a bit of Irish doggerel: "Catholics were Catholics When England was a pup, And Catholics will be Catholics still, When England's time is up."