ACN co-sponsors UN event on religious persecution
The Easter bombings last April in Sri Lanka struck Christians on their holiest day of the year, killing 259 Christians and injuring at least 500.
Father Neville Fernando was there.
“I entered through the main gate of the church and suddenly I heard the explosion,” he said. “I ran towards the church and saw dead bodies strewn across the floor. There were many body parts hands, heads, legs and hands, moistening church floor with blood. There was lamentation and screaming of the people looking for loved ones. Such a horrible sight.”
A few months before that, an ISIS-inspired attack on Mount Carmel Cathedral in the southern Philippines left 20 dead and more than 100 injured. The Rev. Ricky Bacolcol, the celebrant of that morning’s Mass, told his story to Monsignor Romeo Saniel, who quoted him as saying, “I blessed charred bodies of people I personally knew for 20 years.”
According to a newly released report from ACNUSA, a Catholic charity that aids believers around the world, 11 Christians are killed every day because of their faith. ACNUSA was a co-sponsor of the UN event.
The report also says that in South and East Asian countries like Sri Lanka and the Philippines there’s often an unholy trinity of threats: Islamic extremism, populist nationalism and authoritarian regimes. In the Middle East, meanwhile, it’s nothing short of genocide.