Vatican official laments Christian marginalization in Europe


10:19 PM September 13th, 2011

September 13th, 2011 10:19 PM

VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s foreign affairs chief Dominique Mamberti has deplored “alarming signs of marginalization” of Christians in Europe, in a prepared speech distributed Tuesday.

In the address, delivered at a Rome meeting Monday on the prevention of crimes against Christians, Mamberti said most acts of discrimination happened outside of Europe.

But he was concerned at signs of Christians being marginalized in several European states, partly due to a “post-modern idea that religion is a marginal part of public life,” Mamberti told the gathering arranged by European security body OSCE.

The Holy See’s secretary for relations with states warned of the risk of a “radical secularization that relegates every type of religious expression to the private sphere.”

Freedom of religion, he said, was not limited to worship, but also includes “the right to preach, to educate, to convert, to contribute to the political discourse and to participate openly in public activities.”

Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said in Munich on Monday that the Christian religion was the most persecuted in the world.

“Eighty percent of those who are persecuted for their faith are Christians,” he had told an inter-religious meeting.

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