Pope Francis: In March we pray for persecuted Christians

“It might be hard for us to believe, but there are more martyrs today than in the first centuries.” These are the words that Pope Francis uses in his prayer intention for March video message. It is estimated that almost 300 million Christians are persecuted for their faith across the globe. They are persecuted, says the Holy Father because “they speak the truth and proclaim Jesus Christ to this society.”

According to data obtained by the Pontifical Foundation “Aid to the Church in Need” there are 38 countries in which serious or extreme violations of religious freedom are recorded. However, the tragedy of persecution, the pope observes, materializes not only where this fundamental right is not guaranteed, but also in countries “in theory and on paper, they protect freedom and human rights.”

The pope asks everyone to pray for “Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected.”

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