(JNS.org) Pope Francis demanded an end to the “genocide” of Middle East Christians during his visit to Bolivia on Thursday.
“Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus,” Pope Francis said.
“In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end,” he added.
Francis has spoken frequently on the issue of protecting the Middle East’s dwindling Christian population from attacks by Muslim terror groups like Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. During a visit to Turkey last year, he issued a joint statement with his Greek Orthodox counterpart, Patriarch Bartholomew I, deploring the “terrible situation” facing Mideast Christians.
“We cannot resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians, who have professed the name of Jesus there for two thousand years,” Francis and Bartholomew said.