Pope Francis is imploring Christians to pray for their persecuted sisters and brothers during the month of March.
The Pontiff releases his prayer intentions every month, and this month, where many in the Church are marking Lent, he says he is especially praying for Christians suffering in difficult parts of the world.
A video has been released to accompany the month of prayer. In the striking clip, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians hold up signs as if they're in a police line up. It's a stark representation of believers being criminalized simply for their faith.
'They are persecuted and killed because they are Christians,' says the Pope. 'I ask you, how many of you pray for Persecuted Christians? Do it with me that they may be supported by prayers and material help.'
The video has been produced by Aid To The Church In Need. ACN says, 'A tipping point has been reached concerning public awareness about religiously motivated crimes and oppression, prompting a fresh debate about the place of religion in society.' The organisation says it is concerned about persecution of minorities of any kind suffering persecution. 'The frequency and intensity of atrocities against Yazidis, Christians, Baha'is, Jews and Ahmaddiyya Muslims is on the rise, and is reflected in the volume of reportage of extremist violence against religious minorities,' it says.