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About 215 million Christians experience high or extreme levels of persecution
Pope Francis greets schoolchildren as he arrives for a weekly general audience at St Peter's square on March 1, 2017 at the Vatican. (Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP)
Pope Francis has called on Catholics to remember persecuted Christians who suffer around the globe in a video message outlining his prayer intentions for March.
Pope Francis asks viewers: "How many people are being persecuted because of their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their lands, their loved ones?"
The video then shows three Christians standing in a police line-up holding signs reading; "Orthodox", "Catholic" and "Protestant," the Catholic Herald reported.
Pope Francis goes on to say that persecutors see no difference between Christians of different denominations and implored the faithful to remember persecuted Christians of all backgrounds in prayer and material help.
According to the Christian charity Open Doors, approximately 215 million Christians experience high or extreme levels of persecution.
The charity also claims that North Korea is the worst country in the world in which to be a Christian. The totalitarian nation was followed by Somalia and Afghanistan.
Watch the pope's video message below via The Vatican's YouTube account:
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