[QODLink]
Inside Story
Plight of 'persecuted' Christians
Is the Pope's Christmas address a religious message of support or a political stand?
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2010 11:05

Concerned about the welfare of Christian communities around the world, Pope Benedict has expressed his hope for an end to conflicts. 
 
In his traditional Christmas Day message from the Vatican, the Pope urged Christians in China and Iraq to stand up for their faith. He used his message to highlight the plight of Christians he says are being persecuted.

And the Pontiff's speech is likely to strike a stronger chord among Christians after a year of religious flare-ups. Especially giving the series of recent attacks timed to coincide with Christmas.

A bomb wounded several people celebrating Christmas mass in southern Philippines. The perpetrators are unknown but it happened in Jolo Island which is mainly Muslim.
 
In Nigeria fresh fighting has erupted between Muslims and Christians in Jos. Multiple bombs went off on Christmas eve, killing dozens of people.
 
And a violent standoff in an Iraqi Catholic church in late October left nearly 70 people dead. Iraq's Christian community has been dwindling for years ... down 60 per cent since the invasion of Iraq.

Is his Christmass address a religious message of support or a political stand?

Inside Story, with presenter Ghida Fakhry, discusses with Kamal el-Helbawi, the former president of the Muslim Association of Britain, Audeh Quawas, a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, and Alessio Altichieri, the London correspondent for the Italian daily, Corriere Della Sera.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, December 26, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.