- Apr 1, 2020
For the 16th year in a row, North Korea tops the list of 50 countries ranked for the worst persecution of Christians in the world, according to the Christian watchdog organization Open Doors USA.
“I am deeply grieved by the terrorist attacks of the past few days in Somalia, Afghanistan and New York,” the pope told faithful gathered in St. Peter’s square. “While deploring these acts of violence, I pray for the dead, the wounded and their families.”
Bishop Oscar Cantu, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, called for the U.S. to foster discourse among Afghanistan’s different political, religious and ethnic factions in the hope of finding areas of “basic cooperation that might lead to confidence-building measures, a gradual diminishing of armed conflict, increased accountability, and enhanced and equitable economic development.”
President Donald Trump recently announced his administration’s new policy in Afghanistan. While neither Pope Francis nor the Vatican has directly commented on it, in recent years there has been an increased push for peace-building and non-violent solutions from Church officials when it comes to the fight against terrorism.
President Donald Trump changed course from what he said during the campaign about leaving Afghanistan this week. Now he will be sending a large troop increase to the country. However, he offered no plans for ending the war, even though polls show most Americans don’t think it’s possible to win and want the soldiers to come home.
A truck bomb has killed dozens of people in an area of Kabul called the Green Zone, in which government offices and foreign embassies are located. It is one of the most fortified and tightly secured places in the country, and officials are unsure how the bomb – suspected to have been in a large truck – was allowed into the district.