Pope Benedict Delivers “State of the World” Address

January 2011 – The Vatican

In his annual “state of the world” address, delivered 10 January 2011 to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope Benedict highlighted the growing assault on religious freedoms around the world: “The particular influence of a given religion in a nation,” the Pope said, “ought never to mean that citizens of another religion can be subject to discrimination in social life or, even worse, that violence against them can be tolerated.” The Pope praised a recent effort by European Union leaders to defend the rights of Christians in the Middle East and welcomed a move last October by the Council of Europe to protect the rights of health care workers to “conscientious objection” against participating in abortions. However, he had strong words for European governments and others in the West for their “marginalization of religion,” especially Christianity, and voiced concerns about the events affecting Christians in Nigeria, India, Iraq, Pakistan, China, and South America.

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