Pope Frances Declares That Now There Is More Persecution Against Christians Than There Was In The Early Church

By Theodore Shoebat

Pope Frances recently declared that now there is more persecution against Christians than there was in the days of the early Church. Take into account the persecutions being done by ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalists, North Korea and other communist regimes, and the number is in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more. Here is the report:

Pope Francis paid tribute on Monday to Middle East Christians who have clung to their faith during persecution by Islamist militants, saying there are more Christians martyrs now than in the Church’s early days.

The pope spoke to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his holiday blessing on the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

He mentioned the persecution of Christians in Iraq, many of whom where able to spend their first Christmas since 2013 in churches after towns and cities were retaken from Islamic State.

“This was an example of fidelity to the Gospel,” he said. “Despite trials and dangers, they courageously show that they belong to Christ,” he said.

“Today, we want to think of them and be close to them with our affection, our prayers and even our tears,” the pope said.

Christians in northern regions of Iraq held by Islamic State were given an ultimatum: pay a tax, convert to Islam, or die by the sword. Most of them fled to the autonomous Kurdish region to the east.

Leaders of various churches, including the Coptic Church in Egypt, whose members have been beheaded and churches bombed, have called the fact that Christians of all denominations were being killed in the Middle East an “ecumenism (unity) of blood.”

“There are more Christian martyrs today than in the first centuries,” said the pope, who has often denounced Islamic State and condemned the concept of killing in God’s name.

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  • AnthonyM

    The ongoing persecution is unimaginable. In the West we have it so easy. It is easy to take religion for granted, that our Church will always be there 7×24, that we will have freedom of religion. It is so easy and quick to lose freedom.

    • “In the West we have it so easy.”

      Nuff said.

    • Brenda

      Anyone taking it for granted has been sleeping, I haven’t felt secure at all about it because I don’t see us as being separated from them by anything more than some distance, there have been more and more stings, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s a stab if it keeps on going as it has.

    • Kevin Nicholson

      Prosperity and persecution both can destroy mankind:

      “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Matthew 13:20-22.

    • Kamau41

      Very sadly, so much is taken for granted! However, we see the times is fast approaching when that will no longer be the case.

  • “Walid, what is the deal with this Pope?”

    Don’t know. Ask him. Want his private number?

    • David W

      After a year at a San Jose Calvary Chapel, I never heard any prayers or sermons on the tortures and massacres of Syrian and Chaldean Christians. Maybe we can call the cell phones of the pastors and youth ministers. Protestant celebrities don’t seem to possess a working compass and are wandering in one direction and suddenly in another.

      • Grandmere

        Five SNAPS up!!!!!

      • Kamau41

        You have nailed it David.

      • Fr Christopher P. Kelley, DD

        You will hear prayers for “Those who face martyrdom for the Cross TODAY” at every Mass offered here, as well “for their persecutors, that the witness of these Martyrs will be so compelling as to lead them to the Light of the Gospel.”

    • chinese

      Hee, Hee, Hee. Good answer.

  • Woody

    Yes, some things confuse me at times; however, if there is only One God, and the Christians worship God and if the Muslms worship God, then technically they do worship the same God; however i do not believe the god Muslims pray to is not same for many of them worship a being that “forces” beliefs on people (not something a real God would do), and one that permits killing of anyone let alone gays, no God would permit such a thing…

    • David W

      Muslims do not worship the Triune God. They worship Allah, the deity represented by the crescent. Allah is the greatest of all deceivers, according to the Quran…

      • Woody

        I know; the Christian God is the only God.

        • Grandmere

          Nice to see you Woody. Merry Christmas!

          • Woody

            Merry Christmas to you too; nice with Trump we will be able to say it proudly again–no PC happy holidays–a boo!

          • Grandmere

            I see you have a new avatar. St Bernadette. Lovely.

        • Kamau41

          Merry Christmas Woody. Long time no hear. Great to see you back again with the new beautiful avatar of St. Bernadette.

        • chinese

          Woody my friend, why Mus-lim do not believe the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is because without the Son there is no salvation for mankind and hence all will go to the Lake of Fire.

      • Fr Christopher P. Kelley, DD

        St Paul speaks of “the god of this world” — a false god; translated to Arabic, “al-Lah” – the god. He loves to “appear as an angel of light”. A deceiver, “luci-fer”.
        Note that the HOLY Scripture makes note of the New Moon, as a festal celebration, whereas Islam makes much of the LAST of the moon, as Muh’d sneaked away from Mecca in the DARK of the moon, the Hijrah, in 622. So the muslim crescent is not the New Moon, but the last sliver of the month. Islam is a religion of darkness, not light.

      • knightsstrength

        They bow and pray to a black Kaaba Kaaba stone, that is their Allah

        • chinese

          Knightsstrength, I believe this is talking about a Pagan god image of stone. But if it is an image of Jesus or Mary, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    • Grace Ziem

      I agree with David W; also, there are not 2 gods, only one: Allah is a figment of the imagination just as surely as the million gods of Hinduism. Islam is a belief system with a political agenda disguised as a religion.Yahweh is God and the hundreds of fulfilled prophesies of the Bible attest to His Omniscience, Omnipotence; Christ’s sacrifice attests to His great love. No other belief begins to compare!!

      • Woody

        I agree and what I said “there is only One God…”

    • Julie

      There is a possible pope in the making…Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop…as well?…of Vienna….

      http://www.express.uk…..Islamization of Europe, Christians face being pushed aside….

      • Nan

        Shudder

  • Flame blue

    It seems that the Pope is now all of a sudden willing to acknowledge that the followers of Islam have a murderous intention towards Christians. I think he’s a political olive Pope and he has now jumped on the Donald bandwagon that just drove onto the World stage.

    At last the Pope has admitted the truth.

  • I like it better when you were telling the prophecy to come then what is happening centuries ago. l think that this pope is for the NWO and any one wanting this can not be a true christian . The NWO is also like Hitler era., it is going to depopulate the people. I can not see the different between the Communist Party and the Islam Muslims . and Walid, you seem to have changed compared to what you use to be.

    • Woody

      Huh? Walid is a lady now?

  • Kamau41

    “There are more Christian martyrs today than in the first centuries”. Does the message even register in your brain?

  • Grace Ziem

    Anyone who walks without a focus on Christ has no compass! As Trevor would say, nuff said.

    • Grandmere

      My New Year’s wish for you, Grace, is that you will find a Catholic or Orthodox lady to be friends with. A woman that you can bond with in the important things. You may not agree on some things but love and sharing life’s burdens leads to deeper understanding of the things we share. This from an Anglican. My family is a blend of Anglican, Catholic and protestants. My best friends are Catholic and Orthodox. All my best wishes for the new year.

      • Grace Ziem

        Thank you. I find great blessing from friends who believe in Christ and the Holy Bible, regardless of denomination. Blessed holidays to you!

        • chinese

          Very good answer, Ms Grace. Anyone who is for Christ, I am for him/her. God bless.

  • Julie

    Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn is now starting to openly oppose Muslim migration.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/747600/Islamization-Europe-Christians-Face-Being-Pushed-Aside-Archbishop-Vienna.

  • Kamau41

    “We belong to the Church Militant; and she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction.” -Venerable Pius XII

  • LJW

    Opps! Bias is showing and offenses are taken, most times this ship leans hard one way and not always in a good or helpful way. Sometimes just asking a concerned question will ruffle feathers. Just couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one, I promise to do better next time.

  • knightsstrength

    Because not only other divisions of the Church but also Catholics falling victims

  • Andy Holland

    As a percentage of population the persecutions from Nero through Diocletian were very high – the odds of dying a violent death was very very high.

  • Julie

    Compromised source, although he does cover wrong done to both.

    You need to read Catholic sources for martyrdom that goes back to the apostles, where the Church is the response to the Word of God….the other part that provides even more in depth salvation history than Judaism that ended with the OT. The beginning Church was primarily Jewish its first 100 years.

    The worst persecution was in Asia Minor, when the Roman emperor moved his headquarters there to avoid the invasion of the barbarians, but the Church of Rome was there, founded by SS Peter and Paul, who died between 64 to 67 AD, martyred under Nero.

    The worst persecutor was Roman Emperor Diocletian in 302 AD, where most Christians, their priests and bishops murdered, and many church buildings destroyed. Constantine assisted in choosing bishops who had leadership skills as build basilicas will elevated pulpits to preach the Gospel and higher altar so the congregants could better participate in the Mass.

    Constantine was not a baptized Christian until days before his death.

  • Julie

    I read past stats were 270 million attributed to Islam when you count the African slave trade, and those also who died in transport…we cannot forget the Christian slave trade and the Turkish concubines.

    I wonder if Foxe covered all the Catholic martyrs. There are many Catholic martyrs for their faith in Mexico going back only to the 1920’s and 30’s.

    and then I consider those saints in Smyrna…that was destroyed by the Turks in 1922…YouTube.

  • Julie

    I just read that Fr Mitch Pacwa stated 8 million Muslims converted this year around the world….I would want to say thanks to ISIS……..but tragedy for those who suffered martyrdom horrifically.

    Also does Foxe name the Catholics especially the many clergy who were drawn and quartered, among the worst of torture…? The Catholics in England were happy as Catholics, and the monasteries supported them. The monasteries were destroyed. And then poverty came to England.

    The Anglican Church is working to return to the Church.

    Nationalism brought about the 30 Year War between the two.

    • Raph Sebastian

      Discussing anything with someone who quotes Foxe and his work of fiction in his so called book of martyrs is exasperating.

      It’s like talking to Baptist who says that their “church” pre-existed the Catholic Church. And then when asked show me where physically any of these “churches” are that are more than 500 years old, the answer would be the evil Catholic Church destroyed them.

      • Julie

        Yes….quoting Foxe…wondered if he brought up the Catholic martyrs…