During Catholic Mass today held at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis confessed that today’s Church is a “Church of martyrs” and even referenced several of the attacks on Christians by Muslims — without of course mentioned the latter’s religious identity — in recent days. This happened during his commentary on the biblical passage which speaks of the martyrdom of Stephen by stoning in the Book of Acts.
Said Pope Francis:
In these days how many Stephens there are in the world! Let us think of our brothers whose throats were slit on the beach in Libya [by the Islamic State]; let’s think of the young boy who was burnt alive by his [Pakistani Muslim] companions because he was a Christian; let us think of those migrants thrown from their boat into the open sea by other [African Muslim] migrants because they were Christians; let us think – just the day before yesterday – of those Ethiopians assassinated because they were Christians… and of many others. Many others of whom we do not even know and who are suffering in jails because they are Christians… The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness.