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US Catholics much more concerned about trafficking than persecution

Maciej Moskwa / NurPhoto / AFP

Aid to the Church in Need surveys churchgoers on views about those attacked for faith

Although 40 percent of Catholics in the United States believe that the persecution of Christians around the world is “severe,” they are less concerned about it than about a host of other issues, including human trafficking, poverty, climate change, and the global refugee crisis.

A nationwide survey examining the views on global Christian persecution was conducted by Aid to the Church in Need-USA in conjunction with McLaughlin & Associates. Based on questions posed to 1,000 Catholic adults online between January 16-24, 2018, the results were published April 6.

Seventy-two percent of Catholics are very concerned about human trafficking, while 49% are concerned about Christian persecution.

American Catholics ranked the top five countries where they believe Christian persecution to be “extremely severe” in the following order: North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan.

They also believe that diplomatic pressure is the most important response to the problem, followed by economic sanctions, granting victims of persecution emergency asylum, supporting persecuted Christian communities financially, and military intervention.

When asked what they themselves should do to help persecuted Christians around the world, American Catholics ranked prayer highest, followed by raising awareness at the parish level, donating to agencies that work to support persecuted Christians, and contacting their Members of Congress. However, almost half of US Catholics have not donated in the past year to an organization that comes to the aid of persecuted Christians

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