Tuesday, March 06, 2012
March 6, 2012. (Romereports.com) Not having religious freedom may seem hard to imagine in some countries, but for billions of people it's a fact of life.
In a speech given by the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations in Geneva, Mons. Silvano Tomasi, he noted that 2.2 billion people face this problem worldwide.
He says that Christians are not the only victims, but the numbers are hard to ignore. About 70 percent of the world's population face religious restrictions. Terrorist attacks on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have increased 309 percent between 2003 and 2010.
Tomasi said religion is not a threat, but a resource. The problem, he says, rises when governments and extremists consider minority religions harmful and offensive because they differ from a country's main religion.
When it comes to developed countries, mostly in the West, the persecution is not necessarily violent, but cultural. It's usually seen when people face hostility, scorn and even ridicule for their beliefs. It's a situation faced by many, butabove all, says Tomasi, by Christians.