Notwithstanding this weekend’s good news from Iran, the persecution of Christians around the world continues to pose a major human rights problem. This November, the Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame will hold a conference, “Seed of the Church: Telling the Story of Today’s Christian Martyrs,” addressing the issues. Here’s an excerpt from the conference announcement:
It is striking how little attention the secular world pays to this injustice, despite the fact that the persecution of Christians is one of the largest classes of human rights violations in the world today. The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community estimates that some 100 million Christians are victims of severe persecution. Yet governments, human rights organizations, the global media, and the western university pay little heed. For example, of three hundred reports that Human Rights Watch has produced since 2008, only one focuses on a case of Christian persecution. Similarly, despite the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act by the U.S. Congress in 1998, neither U.S. foreign policy nor civil society has ever made the persecution of Christians a high priority.