For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 6 Oct 2013.
In the wake of the horrific attack on an Anglican Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, last Sunday, which left at least 85 people dead, Pope Francis has urged Christians to an examination of conscience about their response to such acts of anti-Christian persecution, and urged them to pray for those who are persecuted.
The atrocity in Pakistan is the latest instance of a mounting wave of anti-Christian violence. According to the International Society for Human Rights, in Frankfurt, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians.
Parts of the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and regions of sub-Saharan Africa tend to be the greatest danger zones, though there are recent examples of Christians experiencing violent persecution in many other parts of the world as well. Defence of religious freedom is one of the greatest human rights issues of our time.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.