The Pope's Monthly Prayer Intentions
Evangelization: Religious Minorities in Asia
That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their
faith in full freedom.
Religious liberty is a hallmark of our American system. In Canada and
the United States, such liberty is enshrined in law. It is protected
legally, if not always in practice. The situation we enjoy here in the
United States and in Canada is not the case universally. In places
across Asia, as we sometimes see in our own societies, violations of
religious freedom by individuals, groups, and institutions are of great
concern to all humanity.
The Second Vatican Council, in its Declaration on Religious Liberty,
insisted that all people have the right to religious freedom. This
includes immunity from coercion on the part of individuals, groups and
any other influence: no one is to be forced to act in a manner against
his beliefs, in private or public, within reasonable limits.
A Catholic vision of the right to religious freedom is grounded in
the dignity of the human person, that dignity being known through reason
and the revealed word of God. As it is enshrined in law, it is a civil
right, but it is firstly a God given right. Cf. Dignitatis Humanae para
1. This vision of the human person, made in the image of God, our
Catholic “anthropology,” is one of the most important contributions
Catholics and other believers can bring to public dialogue and
discourse, to the debate in the public square.
In this month’s intention, the Holy Father asks us to pray for the
freedom of those in Asia to exercise this fundamental freedom, one which
many of us here in Canada and the United States might take for granted.
Points for Meditation
Am I free to exercise my own religion as I see best? Do I restrict the
rights of others to practice their religion in my personal, social, or
work life? How do I bring the values of my faith to private and public
discourse? What is the difference between the two?
Ex 20:2-3 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no
other gods before me.
cf. Dt 6:13 “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
Courtesy of Apostleship of Prayer