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The Pope Video: March 2024 - For persecuted Christians

Source: The Pope Video

In the March edition of 'The Pope Video', produced in collaboration with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Pontiff dedicates this month's prayer intention to persecuted Christians.

Pope Francis says: "This month, I want to tell you a story that is a reflection of the Church today. It is the story of a little-known witness of faith.

Visiting a refugee camp in Lesbos, a man told me, "Father, I am Muslim. My wife was Christian. Terrorists came to our place, looked at us and asked what our religion was. They approached my wife with a crucifix and told her to throw it on the ground. She didn't do it, and they slit her throat in front of me." That's what happened.

I know he held no grudges. He was focused on his wife's example of love, a love for Christ that led her to accept, and to be faithful to the point of death.

Brothers, sisters, there will always be martyrs among us. This is a sign that we're on the right journey.

A person who knows told me there are more martyrs today than at the beginning of Christianity.

The courage of the martyrs, the witness of the martyrs, is a blessing for everyone.

Let us pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world might imbue the Church with their courage and missionary drive. And to be open to the grace of martyrdom."

The video features footage from Iraq's Nineveh Plains where Christians suffered genocidal violence at the hands of Daesh (ISIS) militants. Another clip shows the memorial to Servant of God Akash Bashir, the teenage Christian volunteer guard who gave his life one Sunday in March 2015 when he prevented a suicide bomber from entering a packed St John's Church, Yohannabad, Pakistan.

The release of the video comes just days after 15 Christians were slain when men armed with knives disrupted a church service last Sunday in northern Burkina Faso.

In Nigeria there has an upsurge in killings and abductions, including of clergy, as well as attacks on church communities and on Sunday the Pontiff sent a post on X, formerly Twitter, stating that the "increasingly frequent kidnappings" were "extremely concerning".

ACN (International) Executive President Regina Lynch praised the Pope's video, saying the initiative is "very important in order to encourage prayer for the victims of persecution, as well as advocacy for those who suffer discrimination for their faith. In addition, we must involve politicians so that they defend the rights of the most vulnerable."

Last year, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) received reports in 40 countries of people who were assassinated or detained without charge.

Every two years, the charity produces 'Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report into Christians oppressed for their Faith'. The next edition is due out in the autumn.

Watch the March 2024 video here:

To see other videos and content about the Pope's prayer intentions, go to:


Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network

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