US Catholics More Concerned About Climate Change Than Persecuted Christians
March 13, 2018
Most think persecution is severe, but only half are very concerned or strongly support asylum or financial aid.
The Colosseum in Rome was recently lit up the color of blood.
“This is a symbol of the persecution of Christians in the entire world—those who suffer because of faith,” stated Alfredo Mantovano, president of the Italian chapter of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the global Catholic organization which sponsored the February 24 light display.
“We light up the Colosseum with red because their shed blood cannot leave us indifferent,” he stated. “We cannot wash our hands of the blood of this injustice as Pontius Pilate did 2,000 years ago.”
The reminder was a timely one for Catholics in the United States, according to a survey released this month. While 9 in 10 believe that persecution of Christians around the world is somewhat or very severe (51% and 40%, respectively), only half said they were very concerned (49%). Almost 1 in 5 said they were not concerned at all (18%).
Instead, the study of 1,000 Catholic adults (conducted online in January by ACN’s US branch and McLaughlin & Associates) found that they worry about other issues more.
More than 9 in 10 American Catholics worry about human trafficking (72% very concerned, 21% somewhat concerned) or about poverty (68% very, 26% somewhat). More than 8 in 10 worry about the refugee crisis (51% very, 36% somewhat) or about climate change (55% very, 28% somewhat).
Then comes Christian persecution (49% very, 33% somewhat). It’s close behind, but has the lowest level of concern out of the five issues surveyed, as well as the highest share of those with no concern: Christian persecution (18%), climate change (16%), refugees (14%), human trafficking (7%), and poverty (6%).
As John Allen, a veteran Catholic journalist and analyst, noted …