“Benedict XVI will address religious freedom in his main message to the world political community. The pope will denounce that in some parts of the world religious freedom does not exist and many people are marginalized, persecuted and punished because of their faith.
China is the main example. Despite the Constitution allowing the practice of five religions, they persecute and arrest those who do not follow the government’s orders in matters of faith. Currently 10 priests and two bishops are incarcerated in this country just for being Catholics.
In Pakistan religious minorities, like Christians, are harshly persecuted through the law of anti- blasphemy. This law regulates offenses against Muhammad and the Koran and punishes those who do not comply with penalties reaching life in prison or death. On numerous occasions this law has been used to punish residents who profess another religion.
In India, the most extremist of Hinduism combat religions that come from the outside such as Christianity. In Europe there is also a lack of religious freedom. In the UK the government prohibits religious manifestations in public, such as carrying the cross and Catholics cannot join the royal family.” – “Pope Will Address Religious Freedom in the World Day of Peace”, Rome Reports
This post interested me for two reasons. First, I am glad to see that the Pope will be addressing religious tolerance. This is something that I think Catholics could really learn a lesson in as well as others. This article tends to concentrate more on discrimination against Catholics and Christians, but it doesn’t get into how Catholics and Christians can be intolerant of other people’s lifestyles. I think the Pope is touching on a subject that can really apply to anybody, who follows any religion anywhere. The second reason this interested me is because I did not know of the struggles Christians are facing in India, Pakistan, and China. Even in England there is prejudice against Catholics. Everybody in the world should really just learn to keep to their faith to themselves. If another person does not believe that same things as you, that is not something that should cause you to hold hatred for them. You should be mature enough to accept that you have differences with them, and that they are free to make their own decisions.