Pope Benedict XVI: Christians Most Persecuted Minority in the World

Today, Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement in which he singled out Christians as the most persecuted religious group in the world, saying, “At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith.”

The statement was made in response to recent violence against Christians in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, including Egypt. He said, “Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance.” He believes that the status quo constitutes an “intolerable” threat to world security “since it represents an insult to God and to human dignity” as well as “a threat to security and peace.”

Pope Benedict’s statement is particularly close to the heart of Coptic Christians who have witnessed an escalation of hostility and persecution by the Egyptian government and radical Islamic groups within and without Egypt.

He appealed to authorities to “act promptly to end every injustice” against Christians.

Read the complete message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace here.