“These days of solidarity also aim to – in addition to the help provided to specific Churches – bring us closer to the truth about the Church of Jesus Christ and our faithful brothers and sisters who today experience persecution, suffering or marginalization in their lives for being Christ’s disciples,” said bishop Artur G. Miziński, secretary-general of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, during a press conference before the 11th Day of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church, organized by the Polish section of the Aid to the Church in Need and with the support of the Polish Episcopate. This year’s Day of Solidarity will take place on November 10.
Bishop Miziński reminded that currently 350 million Christians in the world are subjected to various forms of discrimination based on faith. Our brothers and sisters „experience not only many inconveniences, but also the risk of survival because of their faith. We often forget that in different places today professing faith in Jesus Christ is even threatened with loss of life or various difficulties, marginalization in social, professional and family life” – said the secretary-general.
The motto of the 11th Day of Solidarity is: “Unspoken suffering”, and the leading theme is the current situation of Christians in South Sudan. A special guest in Poland on this occasion is Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok from the diocese of Malakal in South Sudan.
“It is a sign of solidarity that we are here to show our solidarity with the people in South Sudan. My people in South Sudan suffer a lot, the escalation came in 2014 with the outbreak of war,” said Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok. Bishop Majwok noted that his diocese of Malakal – in which 4 million people live, of which over 60 percent are Catholics – is the most affected by the war and then by floods. Schools, churches and houses were completely destroyed in this diocese. Bishop Majwok himself lives in a military barrack.
“As a Christian, I am asking Christians in Poland for prayer in a spirit of solidarity, and those who can afford – for material support,” bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok appealed.
“Thanks to the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Poland is the only country where every year we bend down over suffering Christians in the world on such a scale,” emphasized Fr. Waldemar Cisło, director of the Polish section of the Aid to the Church in Need.
During Wednesday’s general audience, Pope Francis also referred to the 11th Day of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church, which will be celebrated in the Church in Poland. “Let your prayer and concrete work of solidarity bring respite and support to brothers and sisters who suffer for Christ in different parts of the world,” the Pope said.
60.5 percent of residents of South Sudan are Christians, almost 40% of whom are Catholics. It is the youngest country in the world that celebrated eight years of existence on July 9, 2019. According to the latest UN report, more than half of the country’s population (7 million people) is starving.