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Pope Francis warns of 'genocide' as Christian Persecution increases globally

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The Pope urges people to speak out against 'religio-ethnic cleansing'

Christians all over the world are suffering from increasing prejudice and persecution. It is no secret that Islamic extremism and repressive governments are trying hard to perpetuate the oppression of Christianity. Pope Francis has been moved to warn of "a form of genocide," and called for activists and campaigners to speak out over "religio-ethnic cleansing."

Highlights

MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - A rapid global increase in attacks and repression against Christians has been noticed by organizations that monitor religious persecution from South America to sub-Saharan Africa and from Asia to the Middle East.


During the Pope's recent trip to South America, he was quoted saying how dismayed he was "to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus."

"In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end," he continued.

"Around the world, Christian churches are burned in south India, Muslim and Christian villages attacked in parts of Myanmar. As for the Levant and Mesopotamia, we are all too terribly aware of extreme violence by Isis and its allies against every other group," wrote Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote an article for The Times ahead of a Lords Deboate on religious freedom.

"Earlier this year I visited Egypt to offer condolences following the murder of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, who died proclaiming 'Jesus Christ is Lord'. Of the 37 Anglican provinces to which I travelled during my first 18 months in office, almost half were living under persecution. They fear for their lives every day."

John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic campaign group that monitors persecution, explained that one of the consequences of this persecution is "a form of religio-ethnic cleansing of Christian communities."

"The persecution of Christians is at a level we've not seen for many, many years and the main impact is the migration of Christian people. There are huge swathes of the world which are now experiencing a very sharp decline in the number of Christians," stated Pontifex.

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