Call for a US envoy to protect persecuted religious minorities

Religious envoy call

President Barack Obama has been urged to follow up on his meeting with Pope Francis by backing the creation of a special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and south central Asia, reports the Catholic News Agency.

'I urge you to put your words into action, lest inaction be perceived as indifference,' Republican Frank Wolf wrote in a  letter to President Obama last month.

'The scope of religious persecution around the world, but especially in the Middle East is gravely concerning, and ought to alarm any person of conscience.'

While the congressman said he did not think a special envoy would on its own solve the 'vast' problem of persecution, 'it would provide much-needed hope and comfort to communities desperate to know that the United States stands with them.'

Wolf cited the President’s own words about his meeting with Pope Francis; the President had said the meeting included the topic of 'the potential persecution of Christians.'

President Obama said in his public account of the meeting: 'I reaffirmed that it is central to US foreign policy that we protect the interests of religious minorities around the world.'

Wolf agreed that the protection of religious minorities should be central in US policy, yet added that 'this has sadly not rung true in recent years.' He said persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East is 'not simply potential.'

FULL STORY Obama urged to create religious envoy after papal meeting (CNA)

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