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Christians are the most widely targeted religious group in the world


MATT HADRO

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
4/23/2017

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ABSTRACTChristians are the most widely targeted religious group in the world :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)   Latest News Most Read Archive Resources Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds Columns Documents Mama Needs Coffee CNA Blog Italian Spanish Portuguese German Editors Service About us Advertise Donate Italian Spanish Portuguese German News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Live Greater Making a Difference Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Common Good with Deacon Keith Fournier The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint Documents Pope Francis Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Mama Needs Coffee CNA Blog Home » News » US Christians are the most widely targeted religious group in the world Cross of the Martyrs. Credit: Aaron Groote via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Follow By Matt Hadro Washington D.C., Apr 23, 2017 / 04:29 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- When it comes to religious persecution, Christians are the most widely targeted community, said a new report released this week. But despite oppression and threat of violence, the faithful “should not be afraid,” said a Pakistani archbishop. Pakistan’s Christians have made vital contributions to the country’s history and must not refrain from professing their faith in the midst of the current persecution, Archbishop Sebastian Shaw, OFM of Lahore, Pakistan. “Even under discrimination or some violent actions,” Christians should take courage, he said, citing the words of Jesus that “people will hate you on account of My name.” “You are not guilty, but because you are Christians and because you are following the Gospel values…being honest, being more responsible, being more dutiful, more charitable,” he said of Pakistan’s Christians, violence and harassment will follow. Archbishop Shaw spoke with CNA at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at the April 20 release of the new report “Under Caesar’s Sword.” The archbishop leads the largest Catholic diocese in Pakistan, with around 500,000 members. “Under Caesar’s Sword” documents not only the persecution of Christians around the world, but how they choose to respond to persecution. “Christians are the most widely targeted religious community,” the report explained, “suffering terrible persecution globally.” There are three common responses of Christian communities to violence or harassment, the report noted: “survival,” “strategies of association,” and “confrontation,” which is “the least common response.” Survival would entail communities choosing to remain where they are in the face of persecution, as minorities have in Iraq and Syria, and either gathering covertly for worship as underground churches do in China, or maintaining a tenuous relationship with regimes in power. Communities utilizing “association” would develop relationships with other non-governmental organizations or international bodies like the United Nations, or would strengthen their social ties in their country through social services or practicing forgiveness. Examples of this course of action would be Coptic Christians and Muslims in Egypt, who acted to protect each other’s churches and mosques from vandalism and violence in 2011. Another example was in 1996 when, “anticipating martyrdom, Christian de Chergé, leader of the ‘Tibhirine Monks’ of Algeria who were martyred in 1996 during the uprising, wrote a letter to his would-be killers, forgiving them and inviting them to a future of living together in freedom.” “Christian responses to persecution are almost always nonviolent and, with very few exceptions, do not involve acts of terrorism,” the report stated. Christians in Pakistan, Archbishop Shaw explained, helped build and unify the country when it was founded in 1947, especially through the health and social sectors and the education.......