(JNS.org) More than 100,000 Christians are killed annually because of their faith, a Vatican spokesman said.
“Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year,” Vatican spokesman Monsieur Silvano Maria Tomassi said Tuesday in a radio address to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Fox News reported.
In particular, Christians residing in the Middle East have faced unprecedented violence from Islamic fundamentalists related to the larger “Arab Spring” upheavals. Meanwhile, Christians residing in other countries, such as Indonesia, Pakistan and Nigeria, have also come under assault from Muslim extremists.
Pope Francis has made the protection of Christians a top priority under his leadership. At the canonization ceremony on May 12 of 800 15th-century saints who were killed for refusing to renounce their faith, Pope Francis spoke out against the persecution of Christians.
“While we venerate the Otranto Martyrs, we ask God to sustain the many Christians who, today, in many parts of the world, right now, still suffer violence and give them the courage to be faithful and to respond to evil with good,” Pope Francis said, Reuters reported.