Pope Francis has called for an end to the genocide of Christians in the Middle East.
“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 a speech in Bolivia July 9. “A form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”
CSI first issued a Genocide Warning for Christians and other religious minorities in the Islamic Middle East in November 2011. Since then, a number of international leaders have echoed CSI’s warning, and called for concrete steps to protect the region’s threatened minority groups.
Dr. John Eibner, the CEO of Christian Solidarity International (CSI-USA) welcomed the Pope’s recognition of the crisis, and added:
Christians can act as catalysts for peace and the preservation of Christianity in the Islamic Middle East by amplifying Pope Francis’ recognition of the “genocidal” character of the sectarian conflict, and by echoing his demand that it “must end”. Last spring, the Vatican, in conjunction with Russia and Lebanon, launched a UN initiative for the restoration of the peace in the region, based on respect for religious pluralism. If progress is to be made, the Pope will need to have the audible support of the entire Christian world when he carries this message to Washington next month.