A world which has forgotten God: 100,000 modern-day Christian martyrs per year
Christian persecution is alive and well even today.
An estimated 100,000 Christians are killed every year for their faith, according to the Vatican. The shocking figure was quoted by Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi, a Catholic archbishop on Vatican Radio.
Pakistani men rejoice after burning Christian homes during an anti-Christian riot earlier this year.
The world creates about 100,000 modern-day martyrs each year, which is more than have ever been created at any time in history. Between 250 and 300 people die for their faith every day.
In addition to the 100,000 annual fatalities, Christians are often forced to give up property or suffer its destruction, including businesses and homes, see their churches destroyed, and in some parts of the world, are subjected to rape, torture, kidnapping, and general discrimination.
Sometimes discrimination is enforced by law, according to the Archbishop.
Anti-Semitism and Islomophobia frequently capture worldwide media attention and are met with forceful rebukes, however discrimination against Christians often goes unnoticed and unreported.
However, sometimes the attacks are so brazen that they cannot help but make the news.
Most recently, a Pentecostal pastor in Iran was arrested during services. Pastor Robert Asserian was arrested as he led his congregation in worship on May 21. Authorities have still not released the location of his detention.
The Iranian government makes clear that Christians are not welcome in that country. It is thought that Asserian was arrested possibly for conducting services in Farsi, the native language in Iran. Other Christians have been arrested in that country and threatened with death. A common offense is for conversion. Under Sharia law, a person who renounces Islam for another religion must be put to death.
Archbishop Tomasi did point out one notable exception. He noted that Bangladesh, where Christians form a minority, protects rights and does not suffer from the sectarian violence common in other regions of the world.
Such facts demonstrate that a respectful and protective government may be among the most important factors in ensuring the safety and religious freedom of the faithful.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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