By Clemente Ferrer
Al Qaeda planned the assassination of Alessandria’s Christians, where only about 15 percent of the total population adheres to the religion. 20 were the victims of the attack. Moreover, hundreds of Islamic radicals burned down various Christian churches in Indonesia. A couple of days earlier, the masses executed 3 heretic suspects. This scene became one of the most antireligious fanatic waves in the country with the highest Muslim population.
According to the Fides agency, an estimate of 23 Christians were assassinated in Turkey last year: 17 of them were priests, 2 seminarians, and 3 laymen, not to mention the brutal murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese.
In Latin America 10 priests, 3 laymen, a monk, and a seminarian were killed. 5 Christians were killed in Brazil, 3 in Colombia, and 4 in Mexico. In Venezuela, Ecuador, and Haiti 9 Christians were killed in total. It is estimated that 253 Christians have been assassinated worldwide.
The European Parliament has approved a resolution on the security of Christian minorities around the world. This represents a concrete measure taken to fight the violent aggression committed against this group.
Moreover, the European Parliament (EP) in Strasburg has conducted a report regarding Christians living within a context of religious freedom. According to the press release the European Union has repeatedly expressed its serious compromise regarding the following 3 freedoms: of religion, conscience, and thought. The EP has also emphasized that governments have the responsibility to guarantee these freedoms worldwide.
The report also highlights the various death processes and sentences due to blasphemy that are most concurrent among women. According to the latest statistics on religious freedom, the majority of violent religious acts are committed against Christians.
Before the 178 members of the Diplomatic Body of the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI asserted that there have been numerous instances where religious freedom has been violated. He asked for governments to take up effective measures in order to protect religious minorities around the world.
(Translated by Gianna A. Sanchez-Moretti)
Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer has led a distinguished career in Spain in the fields of publicity and press relations. He is currently President of the European Institute of Marketing. [email protected]