The Government must highlight the “atrocities” committed against Christians who are persecuted because of their faith at an international level the Aontú leader has said.
It comes as parishes across the country mark the ‘Week of Witness’ organised by Aid to the Church in Need Ireland to highlight the persecution millions of Christians endure.
Peadar Tóibín told The Irish Catholic that the failure of some politicians to Christians as a persecuted group is shameful. He insisted that “because of their own political prejudice they are reluctant to admit and recognise this”.
“The Irish Government nor Irish society in general has actually recognised the specific persecution of Christians around the globe.
“I don’t think that it’s on the political horizons for most of the Dáil,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Phonsie Cullinan said that he was disappointed that many politicians say “very little” about Christian persecution.
“I think it’s extraordinary the way in which the plight of ordinary people, our brothers and sisters trying to go about their daily lives and trying to worship God and worship in public, how they are being prevented from that in brutal ways and indeed including execution and torture,” he said.
“We hear very little from our public representatives and in fairness maybe they don’t know, so it’s incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to get the message out and to make people conscious and aware of what is happening,” he told The Irish Catholic.
Referring to the political sphere, MrTóibín said that although there is some understanding that religious persecution exists and Christians are part of that “given the atrocities that have happened around the world and the number of Christians that are targeted it’s clear that this is a specific issue and there is merit and an importance to focus and understand it in its own right”.
Bishop Cullinan urged parishioners to use the pain of being unable to attend Mass in Ireland now to focus their prayer and solidarity with the suffering Church.
“We are experiencing as Catholics in Ireland a certain suffering in not being able to go to public Mass, but that’s because of a pandemic. Whereas they can’t go to Mass full stop. That’s because if they do, their very lives will be in danger – not from a pandemic but from extremists.
“They will be – and are – tortured and sometimes executed, having their churches burned,” Bishop Cullinan said.