Many Christians persecuted and martyrs today, more than in first centuries
"There are many Christians who suffer persecutions in various areas of the world right now" and "today's martyrs are more than the martyrs of the first centuries," reaffirmed Pope Francis in his address for a recent general audience, dedicated to the eighth Beatitude: "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:10).
It is curious, it calls our attention to see how, in the persecution of martyrs, hostility grows to the point of hounding. It is enough to see the persecutions of the last century, of the European dictatorships: how one arrives at this hounding of Christians, against Christian witness and against the heroism of Christians.” the Pope Francis underlined.
As he continued, “It is painful to remember that, at this moment, there are many Christians who suffer persecution in various parts of the world. We must hope and pray that their tribulation will end as soon as possible. There are many of them: the martyrs of today are more numerous than the martyrs of the first centuries. We express our closeness to these brothers and sisters: we are one body, and these Christians are the bleeding members of the body of Christ, which is the Church.”
You can read the rest of the speech and the full article here.
Featured oil painting: “A Christian Dirce”, by Henryk Siemiradzki. A Christian woman is martyred by Nero.