- Dec 5, 2019
Lithuania’s new cardinal, a veteran of Soviet prisons and labor camps, counts on not being assigned “specific duties” following his elevation so he can continue serving his local church.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the world on the first international day to remember the victims of religious persecution to “step up to stamp out anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, the persecution of Christians and other religious groups.”
Government restrictions on religion have increased markedly in many places around the world, not only in authoritarian countries, but also in many of Europe’s democracies, according to a report surveying 198 countries that was released Monday.
The U.N. General Assembly has adopted a resolution designating Aug. 22 as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.
After U.S. government officials criticized the Vatican’s recent deal with China on the appointment of bishops, saying it has made religious persecution in the nation worse, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said there is a need to be patient, since the situation won’t change overnight.
Violating religious freedom harms not only the individuals being persecuted, it also damages communities and often opens the door to further violence, a Vatican representative said.