Church leaders from 56 nations have called on churches globally to pray, support and be in solidarity with those suffering persecution due to their faith. The call resulted from a consultation ‘Discrimination, Persecution, Martyrdom: Following Christ Together’, which took place at the Global Christian Forum from 1-5 November 2015 in Albania.
In a greeting from the Vatican, Pope Francis said, ‘I think with great sadness of the escalating discrimination, and persecution against Christians in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and elsewhere throughout the world.
‘In various parts of the world, the witness to Christ, even to the shedding of blood, has become a shared experience of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants, Evangelicals and Pentecostals,’ he said.
The consultation called for:
- Christians to pray for those who are discriminated against and persecuted;
- Christian organisations at regional, national and local levels from all traditions to learn, pray and work together for the persecuted;
- Churches to engage in dialogue and co-operation with other faith communities, and be watchful and fearless in the face of discrimination and persecution.
Members of the Global Christian Forum include the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pentecostal World Fellowship and the World Evangelical Alliance.