Pope's Monthly Prayer Intention

Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for January, 2018: "That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom."

With the liberalization of political and economic structures in certain countries like Vietnam and Myanmar in recent years, Christians and adherents of other religions have also experienced greater freedom in the practice of their religions. Elsewhere in Asia, such as in China and Malaysia, there has been increasing intervention by the state resulting in the diminishment of religious freedom. In a number of other places in Asia, particularly because of the rise of Islamism, Christians experience increasing hostility and intolerance.

As Pope Francis invites us to pray for Christians and religious minorities in Asia, we might want to remember this diversity of people and the contexts in which they live. Furthermore, we pray that this diversity among people will be interpreted as a sign of God’s abundant blessing, leading all people to mutual respect and sincere dialogue. 
As we pray for religious freedom for Christians in a place far from us, we might also want to ask ourselves how we relate to persons of different faiths right here where we are, if we too welcome them with respect and a desire for dialogue.