Posts Tagged ‘Religious Persecution’

Protection of Religious Freedom

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Today the New York Daily News published an opinion piece that I wrote on the importance of religious freedom around the world. I thought you might want to read it.

Here is an excerpt:

Faith communities are also vital participants in public debates and often help hold governments accountable to their people. From neighborhood parish schools to faith-based soup kitchens and immigrant resource centers, religious ministries are essential to the social fabric.

And religious freedom reinforces other freedoms — of conscience, of the press and of assembly, to name just a few.

You’d think that governments would encourage religious liberty as a way to help their societies advance. But as Pope Francis has said, “In the world today, freedom of religion is more often talked about rather than put into practice.” Instead, many restrict religion and feed societal animosities toward religious minorities in the name of “good order” and control.

The result is too often violence and social conflict.

You can read the whole op-ed here.

Religious Persecution

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

In my recent Catholic New York column, I wrote about violence against Catholics and Christians around the world. I came across an article in The Weekly Standard written by Paul Marshall about this same topic. Marshall writes about religious persecution in Nigeria.

Here is an excerpt:

n Nigeria, thousands of people have been killed in recent months, and tens of thousands in the last decade. It is a fissiparous country whose conflicts have been exacerbated by the increased influence of radical Islam​—​beginning with attempts to apply Islamic law, then the growth of militias, and now the depredations of the vicious al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram movement.

Nigeria has by far the largest population in Africa, some 150 million people, comprising hundreds of ethnic groups, which produces dangerous tensions even without the religious differences. The country is about equally divided between Muslims and Christians, with another 10 percent following indigenous practices. Christians are the majority throughout the South, and Muslims in the North, though with substantial Muslim and Christian minorities in each area, and the two are more mixed in the middle belt, the scene of frequent violence. These conflicts often involve disputes over resources and land use as well as ethnicity, but the religious dimension is increasing.

You can read the whole article here.