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Pope denounces discrimination, violence against Christians

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 01:03

Dec. 26 - Pope Francis prays for Christians who are discriminated against and calls for injustice to be denounced and eliminated in his first Feast of St. Stephen address. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Pope Francis on Thursday denounced discrimination against Christians, including in countries where religious freedom is in theory guaranteed by law. He delivered his traditional noon prayer and address to thousands of people in a wet and windy St. Peter's Square on the day the Roman Catholic Church commemorates St. Stephen, its first martyr. The 77-year-old Argentine pope asked the crowd for a moment of silent prayer for "Christians who are unjustly accused and are subjected to every type of violence". Francis, celebrating his first Christmas season as pope, said "restrictions and discrimination" against Christians was taking place not only in countries that do not grant full religious freedom but also where "on paper, freedom and human rights are protected". "In a civilised world, injustice must be denounced and eliminated," he said. "Mary Queen of Martyrs help us to experience Christmas with ardour of faith and love that shines in St. Stephen and all the martyrs of the Church." Francis did not name any countries but the Vatican has long urged Saudi Arabia, the site of Islam's holiest places, to lift a ban on Christians worshiping in public. This year there have been a number of incidents of intolerance and attacks against minority Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria and other countries where their rights are guaranteed by law.

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Pope denounces discrimination, violence against Christians

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - 01:03