What is the most suppressed religion right now?
Aid organization: Christians mostly persecuted religious community worldwide
Religious minorities are often oppressed and “Christians are one such in many countries,” explains the lawyer. The message of Jesus Christ is also often seen in itself as “a nuisance”.
The task of the internationally active Catholic aid organization is therefore to point out grievances around religious freedom, "not to deepen the rift and to see hatred and conflict, but to give these people a voice".
International hot spots
The current focus country of “Church in Need” is Pakistan. There the Christians make up only two percent of the population, but because of the high population they number a few million people. They “are very low on the social level and are therefore discriminated against”. Especially in the time of the Corona crisis, this has negative effects, for example, Christians are excluded from the normal assistance provided by the state. According to Heine-Geldern, the “Church in Need” in Pakistan is currently providing “subsistence aid” for Christian families “so that they can survive”.
In other countries help is again impossible. The “Church in Need” boss named Iran as an example. There recognized Christian minorities such as the Armenian Apostolic Church are allowed to practice their religion to a large extent, but not do missionary work. Pastoral projects are therefore not possible.
Heine-Geldern is currently perceiving a massive deterioration in the situation for Christians in the Sahel region of Africa. In countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, foreign Islamist preachers stoke hatred against minorities. "There are more and more incidents where Christians are collaterally damaged because the aim is to destroy the institutions of the state, schools and the health system." And: "More and more, the Christians living there are also coming into the crosshairs of the gangs."
The entire interview with Thomas Heine-Geldern is on “Radio Klassik Stephansdom” on Monday, July 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the "Summer Talk" and as "DaCapo" on July 26th at 5:30 p.m. to listen.
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