Vatican envoy demands UN keep 'eyes wide open' to persecution of Christians

Speaking on April 17 to a UN session on the persecution of Christians, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that world leaders should approach the question “with both of our eyes wide open.”

“And as we consider in depth the details of the persecution of Christians across the globe, it’s going to be very difficult to keep our eyes dry,” the Vatican’s representative continued.

“Even as we speak,” Archbishop Auza said,” thousands across the world are being persecuted, deprived of their fundamental human rights, discriminated against and killed simply because they are believers.”

The archbishop detailed the recent acts of violence against Christians:

In Iraq and Syria, in Nigeria and Libya, in Kenya and in regions of the Asian subcontinent, the earth has been getting literally soaked with blood. We have seen barbaric images of Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya; churches filled with people blown up during liturgical celebrations in Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan; ancient Christian communities driven out of their homes on the biblical Plain of Nineveh; Christian students executed in Kenya...

Archbishop Auza reminded his UN audience that Christians face particularly intense persecution in the Middle East. He reported that in the past 25 years, an estimated 2 million Christians have fled from Iraq; in neighbouring countries, too, ancient Christian populations are disappearing, he said.

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