ROME, December 7, 2004 ( – In the world of human rights advocacy, anti-Semitism and the more recently coined, “Islamophobia” are the subject of hundreds of books, international conventions, even treaties and agreements between governments. But the anti-Christian sentiments that have grown up in the years since the second world war, have often passed without comment or censure. The phenomenon is now being brought out in the open in the international realm by the Vatican’s foreign minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, who gave a speech at a conference in Rome. Lajolo told reporters that the Vatican is attempting to bring the problem before the UN.

Lajolo said that Christianity is often associated with the war on terrorism and as such is being vilified in a backlash against the West. “It should be recognised that the war on terrorism, even though necessary, had as one of its side-effects the spread of ‘Christianophobia’ in vast areas of the globe,” he told a conference in Rome.  It is axiomatic in the pro-life community that any sort of bigotry and intolerance is forbidden unless it is pointed at Christians. So many examples are illustrative of the problem, but it became front page news last year when secularist groups attacked Mel Gibson’s film the Passion of the Christ – even before it had been released – on the sole grounds that it was an unambiguous presentation of the Christian view of the death of Christ.

Lajolo said that in its relations with the UN, the Vatican was attempting to make international bodies aware of the problem of what he called, “Christianophobia.” The uproar at the European Parliament over some comments made by an Italian candidate for the European Commission that reflected a Christian understanding of marriage and sexuality is a case in point. Radical secularists in power in the EU hounded a man out of high office on the grounds that he was a Christian.

Lajolo echoed Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger who said, after the EU’s refusal to recognize the Christian heritage of Europe in its constitution, that parts of Europe were now so secularized that Christianity is “being pushed to the margins.”

Read a transcript of Lajolo’s speech at the UN: