For Eritrea’s Christians, government not the solution but the problem

Crux | 7/17/2019 | Staff
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ROME - As the world struggles to catch up with what victims and experts have known for a long time - to wit, that anti-Christian persecution is one of the world’s most pernicious human rights scourges in the early 21st century - one point steadily becoming more clear is that it’s a complicated problem with no single diagnosis and, for sure, no single cure.

An event hosted by the British embassy to the Vatican Monday at Rome’s Basilica of San Bartolomeo brought a reminder of the point, in this case from Eritrea.

Ambassador - Sally - Axworthy - UK - Event

Ambassador Sally Axworthy of the UK organized the event to present a new report commissioned by the British government on anti-Christian persecution around the world. San Bartolomeo was a natural setting, since the church was entrusted to the Community of Sant’Egidio in 1993 and today hosts chapels dedicated to the “new martyrs” of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, undersecretary for relations with states, was also on hand to demonstrate the Vatican’s concern.

Threats - Christians - Axworthy - Panel - Cardinal

To highlight the threats Christians face, Axworthy assembled a panel composed of Cardinal Raphael Louis Sako of Iraq, Father Boniface Mendes of Pakistan, and Sister Monica Chikwe of Nigeria. Each spoke about brutalities Christians have endured in their countries, mostly fueled by religious extremists and terrorist groups. All called on their governments to do more, and on the international community to exert pressure on those governments to act.

As the event drew to a close, a priest from Eritrea rose to pose a question to the panel, the gist of which was this: “You’ve all been talking about persecution by terrorists, but in my country the Church is under attack by the government itself. What do you do in a case like that?”

Question - Eritrea

It was a telling question, because Eritrea neatly illustrates one of the new...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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