(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed to the international community to take action against the continuing persecution of Christians and religious minorities.
In a letter addressed to the Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem and Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan, Maroun Lahham, Pope Francis has expressed his solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Jordan who have fled persecution describing them as the martyrs of today.
Upon the invitation of Archbishop Lahham and of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouwad Toual, the Secretary General of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Nunzio Galantino is currently visiting Jordan to mark the 1st anniversary of the arrival of Iraqi refugees in the nation.
During his visit, Archbishop Galantino will participate in a number of meetings and events and will visit some refugee camps.
Please find below Vatican Radio’s translation of the Pope’s letter:
Your Excellency Mons. Lahham
I take advantage of the visit to Jordan of His Excellency Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, Secretary General of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, to reach with a word of hope so many people who oppressed by violence, have been forced to abandon their homes and their land.
Time and time again I have wished to give voice to the atrocious, inhuman and inexplicable persecutions of those, who in many parts of the world – and especially amongst Christians – are victims of fanaticism and intolerance, often under the eyes and in the silence of all. They are the martyrs of today, humiliated and discriminated against for their faith in the Gospel.
My words, which appeal for solidarity, are the sign of a Church that does not forget and that does not abandon her children who have been exiled on account of their faith: they must know that a daily prayer is raised for them, and that we are grateful for the witness they offer.
My thoughts also go to the Communities that have not looked away and are taking care of these brothers of ours. You proclaim the resurrection of Christ by sharing the pain and by giving help to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Bowing before the misery that risks stifling their hope, your fraternal service illuminates the dark moments of their existence.
May the Lord reward you as only He can, with an abundance of gifts.
And may world opinion be more attentive, sensitive and sympathetic before the persecutions carried out against Christians, and in general, against religious minorities.
I renew my hope that the international community will not assist in silence without taking action in the face of this unacceptable crime, a crime that constitutes an alarming drift from the most basic of human rights which prevents a rich cohabitation between peoples, cultures and faiths.
Please, I ask you to pray for me.
May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you.
Listen to the report: