Church and religion
Pope Francis talks to young people in his newest video
Rome, April, 5th, 2017 (Worldwide Prayer Network). The Pope and his Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network present this month’s ”The Pope Video”. Using images from popular youth activities, such as CrossFit, Francis challenges young people to go after their vocation to build a better world. It’s always been said that young people have in their hands the possibility of changing the world, but few people have been able to communicate this truth as well as Pope Francis. With his April prayer intention presented in the 16th The Pope Video produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Francis aims to empower young people so that they “don’t leave it to others to be the protagonists of change.” With images that reflect the parallel between today’s popular athletic activities (such as CrossFit) and the value in these pursuits, the video for this month strives to strike a chord with young people, asking this generation to take up their role in society. According to the UN, by the end of 2011, the population of the world had exceeded 7 billion, with half of this number (50.5%) being under 30 years old. The UN speaks of youth as the “determining factor of social change, of economic development and technical progress. Their imagination, their ideals, their perspectives and their energy are indispensable for the development of the societies in which they live.” “With the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and our youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement, we are very eager to join the Pope in this intention,” said Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the network and movement. “In his message to young people for the diocesan World Youth Day of April 7, 2017 (in preparation for the worldwide encounter in Panama in January 2019), Pope Francis encouraged them to ‘improve the world’ and ‘leave an imprint that makes a mark on history.’ Once more, in his monthly video, he shows his confidence in the capacities young people have and in their generosity. He encourages them to respond to their vocation and immerse themselves in the great causes of the world.” Below, find the complete script of the video: I know that you, young people, don’t want to be duped by a false freedom, always at the beck and call of momentary fashions and fads. I know that you aim high. Is that true, or am I wrong? Don’t leave it to others to be the protagonists of change. You, young people, are the ones who hold the future! I ask you to be builders of the world, to work for a better world. It is a challenge, yes it is a challenge. Do you accept it? Pray with me that young people may respond generously to their own vocation and mobilize for the great causes of the world.
Pope denounces persecution of Christians with this month’s “The Pope Video”
Vatican, March 7th, 2017. (The Pope Video). In a production that evokes the 90s hit film “The Usual Suspects”, Pope Francis in this month’s “The Pope Video” denounces the persecution of Christians that is occurring in various parts of the world. Why are Christians treated as criminals in some parts of the world? With this question as his springboard, Pope Francis has released the 15th The Pope Video through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. The video aims to bring awareness to the plight of Christians who are persecuted and killed because they are Christians. Those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong. Evoking the 90s hit film The Usual Suspects, the Pope protests Christians being treated as criminals simply because of their faith, as viewers see a police lineup of three Christians of diverse denominations. According to the Religious Freedom Report from the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), religious liberty is decreasing in 11 of the 23 worst-offending countries. In another seven countries with this same classification, conditions of religious discrimination are already so severe that there’s hardly any way they could get worse. “Francis’ intention for this month is as difficult as it is urgent,” says Jesuit Father Frédéric Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and its youth branch, the Eucharistic Youth Movement. “Thousands of Christians around the world are discriminated against or persecuted, simply for the fact of being Christian. And let us not forget that there are also other religious persecutions. Today there is a pressing need to unite all the Churches and Christian communities, to give support with prayer and material and economic assistance where it’s necessary.” Johannes Heereman, international executive president of ACN, says it clearly: “Religious liberty is a fundamental principle of human rights. In the headlines practically every day, we see the clear link between violence, oppression and the negation of this basic human right. We believe we must raise our voices whenever any faith community is being unjustly attacked.” ACN annually supports more than 5,000 projects around the world in support of the suffering church. Please find below the full text of the video: How many people are being persecuted because of their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their lands, their loved ones! They are persecuted and killed because they are Christians. Those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong. I ask you: how many of you pray for persecuted Christians? Do it with me, that they may be supported by the prayers and material help of all the Churches and communities.