Vatican to UN: Christians are world’s most persecuted faith group

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Lorraine Caballero
Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world, a Vatican official said during the United Nations (UN) Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York.
(Reuters/Muhammad Hamed)Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako (L), the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, gives communion to Iraqi Christians during Mass at John Baptist De La Salle Church in Amman, May 23, 2014.

In a statement, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin urged the international community to do more for the people displaced by the various conflicts all over the world. He also called on authorities not to abandon Christians, as many reports point to them as the most persecuted faith group so far, the Catholic News Agency relays.

“Since human choices provoke conflicts and wars, it is well within our power and responsibility to address this root cause that drives millions to become refugees, forced migrants and internally displaced persons,” Parolin said in his statement.

“Many reports confirm that Christians are by far the most persecuted faith group,” Parolin added. “… We must not abandon them.”

In addition, he urged the delegates of the summit to rethink “entrenched practices and habits” including arms trade, since the proliferation of weapons contributes to the intensity of the existing conflict. He said their goals of promoting lasting peace could only be achieved if the nations engage in meaningful dialog.

Meanwhile, some persecution watchdog groups have criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for failing to speak out more forcefully for the persecuted minorities during his last speech at the summit. In a statement issued to The Christian Post, Open Doors USA director of advocacy Kristin Wright expressed her disappointment when Obama did not mention the persecution that Christians, Yazidis, and other members of religious minorities are facing.

During his General Assembly speech on Tuesday, Obama noted how violence has forced millions of people to flee their homes. However, Wright said Americans would want their president to exhibit more concern for the persecuted Christians in both words and deeds.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussain also gave a speech admitting the “bitter truth” that they have largely failed at protecting the persecuted minorities.