‘Persecution of Christians widespread and flagrant,’ archbishop says

The Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United Nations told a congressional hearing on Tuesday that “flagrant and widespread persecution of Christians rages in the Middle East even as we meet.”

Chaired by US Republican Chris Smith, R-N.J., the House subcommittee on global human rights listened to international experts testify about the rise in Christian persecution throughout the world.

The archbishop has witnessed the violence firsthand. Before taking the post as the permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N., Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt served as apostolic nuncio to Iraq and Jordan and lived in Baghdad from 2006 to 2010.

The archbishop said: “This tragedy is all the more egregious when one pauses to consider that these men and women of faith … have been living at peace with their neighbors for untold generations.”