- Jul 9, 2020
Many North Korean defectors encounter Christianity through the missionaries who organize the underground railroad that makes it possible for them to escape to China, where they still face the constant risk of being repatriated back to North Korea.
In Mali, armed men smashed their way into a church at Dobara, 500 miles north of the capital Bamako, in late September, throwing out crosses, altar furnishings and a statue of Mary, which they burned outside. Assailants also drove Catholics out of a church at Bodwal, warning they would be killed if seen praying in the church.
‘Under Caesar’s Sword’ is an effort to discover and draw attention to the ways in which Christian communities around the world respond to the severe violation of their religious freedom. The study’s major findings were turned into a number of different resources, including two different educational courses now offered online for free through the Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP) at the University of Notre Dame.
A group of former students of Joseph Ratzinger – who later became Pope Benedict XVI – will gather this weekend in Rome to discuss the persecution of Christians and martyrdom. The annual gathering is called the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis, and the group has been meeting for nearly 40 years to discuss the teaching of their former professor.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States promotes religious freedom as a moral imperative. “As importantly, we promote religious freedom because countries that effectively safeguard this human right are more stable, economically vibrant, and peaceful,” — Tillerson continued — “The failure of governments to protect this right breeds instability, terrorism, and violence.”
Citing the example of saints such as Thomas More and John Fisher, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori talked about the continuing persecution of Christians around the globe. The archbishop spoke to the U.S. bishops on an annual observance highlighting the importance of religious liberty.