WorldWide Religious News (Link) - Deutsche Presse-Agentur - Peter Mayer (January 12, 2011)
Repeated calls by Pope Benedict XVI in favour of religious freedom, especially for Christians living in Muslim- majority nations, are triggering angry responses, including from Egypt which is widely regarded as a moderate Muslim state.
Benedict’s appeals for a stop to anti-Christian persecution culminated this week in his annual speech to ambassadors of the 178 states that have diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
In what Vatican observers described as a “very focused” address, the pontiff condemned assaults against Christians, citing specific examples in Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and China.
He also denounced the growing “marginalisation” of Christianity in secular Europe.
The speech echoed an earlier message on New Year’s Day by the pontiff, in which he also called for greater protection of Christians around the world.