Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Vatican pipes up about persecution in Muslim countries

Well, there's no news like old news (i.e. sorry for posting a week after the article date).

In Asia, until recently, Muslims and non-Muslims lived largely in peace. In the last few years, however, extremist groups have grown and religious minorities are the target of violence. The archbishop also expressed concern over Islamic expansion in Africa, and, to a lesser extent, in Europe.

The problems posed by the radicalization of Islam range from Christians being unjustly subjected to trials by Islamic tribunals, to a lack of freedom in constructing places of worship and obstacles for the practice of faith.

The Vatican representative criticized Islamic countries for ignoring the concept of reciprocity, common in relations among states, when it comes to matters of faith. Islamic countries, he noted, demand religious rights for their citizens who migrate to other countries, but ignore this principle for non-Muslim immigrants present in their own lands.

A friend of mine recently noted that she felt that Muslims and Protestants were of one stripe in many ways. While this is not a generally true statement (after all, it's pretty safe to say that most Protestants are Christians, validly baptized and of relatively orthodox faith) what she said at least seems true historically. The last paragraph reminds me of Calvinists in France demanding religious tolerance, while going a little out of control in Geneva.

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