Friday, February 26, 2010By Michael Ireland Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service 

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WASHINGTON, D.C, (ANS) — The European Union (EU) has established a working group to protect persecuted Christians and prepare a manual for embassies of member states regarding the treatment of persecuted Christian minorities.

According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Italy’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, in an interview yesterday with the Italian daily newspaper Avvenire said, “We could promote a group of like-minded countries who take to heart the right of Christians to profess their faith anywhere in the world. …You see, Christians have never had a political group offering them strong support through their governments.”

ICC reported that the Foreign Minister also stated that his country will hold an international conference on religious freedom this year and will soon introduce a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of Christians. ICC also says Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, with more than 300 million Christians living in countries where they are persecuted simply because of their faith.

According to ICC, Muslim countries are the leading persecutors of Christians followed by communist countries. Hindu majority countries such as India also severely persecute Christian minorities.

ICC’s president, Jeff King, said, “We welcome the move by European Union to protect Christian minorities that face persecution. Christians are facing increasing persecution mainly in Muslim countries.

“We urge the international community to join Italy’s effort in promoting religious freedom and protecting Christians from persecution in Muslim and other Christian persecuting countries.”

ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact Jonathan Racho, Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, 1-800-422-5441, 
** Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ANS, is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station. 

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