Pope Francis has described religious persecution as not only intolerable but crazy.
In this month’s The Pope Video, supported by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Pontiff hits out at the presence of religious intolerance, especially in civilised societies.
The video (https://thepopevideo.org/) is part of a series that sets out his prayer intention each month.
Francis says: "How can we allow that in this society, which is so civilized, there are people who are persecuted simply because they publicly profess their faith?
"Not only is it unacceptable, it's inhuman, it's insane.
"Religious freedom is not limited to freedom of worship- that is to say, that people can have a worship service on the day prescribed by their sacred books.
"Rather, it makes us appreciate others in their differences and recognise them as true brothers and sisters."
ACN's Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021 found that 5.2 billion people were living in countries where religious freedom violations routinely took place.
Executive President of ACN, Thomas Heine-Geldern said: "We firmly believe that the right to be free to practice or not to practice any religion is a fundamental human right that is directly related to the dignity of every individual."