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.