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Archbishop tells UN of suffering of Christians

31 May 2013

MORE than 100,000 Christians are killed because of their faith every year, the Roman Catholic Arch­bishop Silvano Maria Tomasi told the UN on Monday.

The Archbishop, who is the Holy See's Permanent Observer at the UN, warned that Christians were also subject to displacement, rape, aduction, the fruits of "bigotry, in­­tolerance, terrorism, and some ex­­clusionary laws".

The Iranian Christians news agency Mohabat News reported that, on Tuesday of last week, Pastor Robert Asseriyan, of the Central Assemblies of God Church in Teh­ran, was arrested. The church was closed the next day, and the agency reports that the pastor's location is unknown. In 1990, an Assemblies of God pastor in Iran, Hossein Soodmand, was executed on charges of apostasy.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, said last week that Churches must "gather under the cross of the Prince of Peace" in solidarity with those caught up in conflict in the Middle East.

At a conference exploring Chris­tian presence and witness in the Middle East, held in Beirut by the World Council of Churches, Dr Jefferts Schori reminded delegates that peace had been achieved in Northern Ireland and South Africa.

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