In a production that evokes the 90s hit film “The Usual Suspects”, Pope Francis in this month’s “The Pope Video” denounces the persecution of Christians that is occurring in various parts of the world.
(Vatican, March 2, 2017).- Why are Christians treated as criminals in some parts of the world? With this question as his springboard, Pope Francis has released the 15th The Pope Video through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. The video aims to bring awareness to the plight of Christians who are persecuted and killed because they are Christians. Those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong.
“How many people are being persecuted because of their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their lands, their loved ones!” Francis exclaims, in denouncing religious persecution.
Evoking the 90s hit film The Usual Suspects, the Pope protests Christians being treated as criminals simply because of their faith, as viewers see a police lineup of three Christians of diverse denominations.
According to the Religious Freedom Report from the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), religious liberty is decreasing in 11 of the 23 worst-offending countries. In another seven countries with this same classification, conditions of religious discrimination are already so severe that there’s hardly any way they could get worse.
“Do it with me, that they may be supported by the prayers and material help of all the Churches and communities” the Pope invites.
“Francis’ intention for this month is as difficult as it is urgent,” says Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “Thousands of Christians around the world are discriminated against or persecuted, simply for the fact of being Christian. And let us not forget that there are also other religious persecutions. Today there is a pressing need to unite all the Churches and Christian communities, to give support with prayer and material and economic assistance where it’s necessary.”
Johannes Heereman, international executive president of ACN, says it clearly: “Religious liberty is a fundamental principle of human rights. In the headlines practically every day, we see the clear link between violence, oppression and the negation of this basic human right. We believe we must raise our voices whenever any faith community is being unjustly attacked.” ACN annually supports more than 5,000 projects around the world in support of the suffering church.
The intentions are entrusted each month to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and The Pope Video is produced by La Machi Communication for Good Causes with the support of the Society of Jesus, IndigoMusic, GettyImagesLatam and the collaboration of the Vatican Television Center. It also has Aleteia as a media partner and ACN as grand benefactor. Since its launch in January of 2016, it has had more than 13 million views on its own networks.
The Pope Video is made possible thanks to the support of many people. You can donate at this link.
Where can I see the video?
About The Pope Video
The Pope Video is a global initiative developed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) to disseminate the monthly intentions of the Holy Father concerning the challenges facing humanity. The videos seek to unite people in praying with Pope Francis for those challenges. The Project has the support of the Vatican Television Center (CTV), sole owner of the rights. For more information: https://www.thepopevideo.org.
About the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer)
For over a century, the Apostleship of Prayer has been publishing to the world the prayer intentions entrusted to them by popes. Now, in its process of recreation, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network emphasizes its role of communicating the prayer intentions and leveraging new media and tools. Its mission is to unite people in prayer and service in response to the challenges facing humanity which the Holy Father expresses in his monthly intentions. Those who participate in this network are encouraged to become apostles in daily life through a spiritual path called “Way of the Heart,” transforming those who take that path in the service of the mission of Jesus Christ. Founded in 1844 and present in over 98 countries, the Apostleship of Prayer unites more than 35 million people in its network, including its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. For more information: http://www.popesprayer.net/.
About Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)
ACN is a pontifical foundation that supports Christians where they are persecuted, oppressed or where poverty is such that makes it difficult for them to practice their faith. ACN does this by supporting more than 5,000 projects annually in more than 140 countries and by reporting on the situation of Christians in the world. More information at: www.acninternational.org
About La Machi
The Pope Video is an idea of La Machi, a creative boutique specializing in communication to advance good causes founded in 2012, with offices in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Rome. Its mission is to help companies, NGOs, and religious institutions communicate their philanthropic purposes. It specializes in strategic communication, creative advertising, digital development, and fundraising. La Machi has been recognized as a “Friend of Project Red” (RIIAL) and won the 2015 & the 2016 Mercury Prize for Best International SME of Marketing, awarded by the Argentinian Association of Marketing. For more information: http://www.lamachi.com/en.
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