Consecrated men and women from around the world have “urgently denounced” the persecution of Christians and urged the international community to “implement concrete interventions” for peace.
The message was signed by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Institutes of Apostolic Life, on behalf of the nearly 1,300 religious gathered for an international congress in Rome.
The participants at the conference on April 7-11 represent dozens of religious congregations and thousands of religious men and women worldwide.
“We feel particularly close to those in the world who are suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ and we express our communion with all consecrated men and women who, in the various peripheries of the world, suffer because they are Christian and consecrated,” said the message.
The religious thanked their suffering brothers and sisters for “their witness of fidelity” to their vocation and mission and for remaining “close to those who suffer”, assuring them of their prayers.
They also said they join Pope Francis and the whole Church in praying “so that peace, the gift of the risen Lord, can overcome hatred and violence and so that all people can recognise themselves as brothers and sisters”.