Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Archbishop Mamberti proposes 'world day against persecution of Christians'

VATICAN CITY, 7 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See's secretary for Relations with States, addressed the Eighteenth Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held this 6–7 December in Vilnius, Lithuania.

  In his address, the archbishop discussed, among other themes, the topic of migration, which for the Holy See constitutes an argument of constant interest, above all in the actual circumstances of economic and financial crisis. Msgr. Mamberti noted that there is a growing consensus in the international community on the necessity of paying greater attention to migrants. In this context he emphasized that it is necessary to support migrants reunification with their families since "the family plays a fundamental role in the integration process, in giving stability to the presence of the immigrants in the new social environment ... Migrants, aware of their rights, can be more secure in offering their services and talents and the receiving community, well-informed and respectful of these rights, will feel freer in extending its solidarity in order to build together a common future".

  The Secretary for Relations with States also addressed the Organization's commitments in defence of fundamental freedoms and human rights, one of which is the right to freedom of religion. "The right to religious freedom, despite being repeatedly proclaimed by the international community, as well as in the constitutions of most States, continues to be widely violated today". Pope Benedict XVI himself recalled, in his message from this year's World Day of Peace, that Christians "are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith". According to Archbishop Mamberti, "there may be more than two hundred million Christians, of different confessions, who are in difficulty because of legal and cultural structures that lead to their discrimination". For this reason, he proposed the institution of an International Day against persecution and discrimination of Christians as "an important sign that governments are willing to deal with this serious issue".

Against Trafficking in Human Beings

  The archbishop also addressed the problem of trafficking in human beings, especially of women and minors, for sexual exploitation as well as for labor exploitation and domestic servitude, which has become a "powerful global business involving many countries of origin, transit, and destination. To counteract the scourge of trafficking in human beings with greater determination and more concrete results, a convergence of efforts is necessary: a mentality that is centered on the unique dignity of every person, a sure punishment of traffickers, the fight against corruption, ... and the fairness of mass media in reporting the damages created by trafficking".

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