His Holiness Pope Francis Addresses St. John's Law Religious Freedom Conference in Rome
Pope Francis addresses religious freedom conference
In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered at the special audience, Pope Francis said that, despite the numerous expressions in favor of religious liberty, religious harassment, oppression and even persecution continue around the world, and are even on the increase, especially against Christians.
“It gives me great pain,” said Pope Francis, “to see that Christians around the world suffer the [lion’s share] of such discrimination.” The Holy Father went on to say, “The persecution of Christians today is even more virulent than in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs today than in that era.”
The Holy Father’s remarks concluded with an expression of hope that the participants’ meeting, “might illustrate, with eminent scientific rigor and depth, the reasons that oblige every legal authority to respect and defend religious freedom.”