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26 February 2016
In this image from January, a priest gives Communion to a woman during a Mass for Iraqi Christian refugees at Our Lady of Peace Center on the outskirts of the Jordanian capital, Amman.
(photo: CNS/Dale Gavlak)
The current issue of America Magazine features a compelling essay on religious freedom by CNEWA’s external affairs officer, the Rev. Elias D. Mallon, S.A., PhD:
The status of religious freedom in the world is not something to celebrate these days. The situation in the Middle East remains dire. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, and religious minorities are being persecuted and slaughtered. But this sad state of affairs is not unique or limited to that region. South Asia has recently seen a disturbing increase of sectarian violence against Christians and Muslims. Together the Middle East and South Asia are home to most of the major religious traditions of the planet. Not surprisingly, they are also home to many of the violations against religious freedom.
“Freedom of thought, conscience and religion” is guaranteed as a human right in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which most countries of the world have bound themselves by treaty and international law. Nevertheless, the sad fact is that abuses against freedom of religion are probably the most widespread and varied of all abuses. Issues involving the freedom of religion vary from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act in the United States to the genocidal tactics of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They run the gamut from the legal to the existential.
Read the full essay at the America link. Meantime, check out the Sirius satellite radio interview below, which offers more from Father Elias on the topic.