Pope Francis shared his monthly prayer intention video for January, urging the Faithful to pray for the religiously discriminated and persecuted.

Pope Francis’ Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative in 2016 as a way to spread the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions on the challenges humanity faces in a video based format.

For the month of January, Pope Francis shared his prayer intention that we “pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family.”

Pope Francis has accompanied his video with an official prayer to help you pray for his monthly intention:

“Lord Jesus Christ, you invite us to be sisters and brothers,
to live in fraternal harmony, loving and respecting each other
in our differences and valuable diversity;
send your Holy Spirit into our hearts
so that we may learn to look at each other and treat each other with love,
with the same love that you have for us.
Grant that we may feel beloved children of the same Father,
brothers and sisters capable of welcoming each other,
promoting dialogue and encounter.
Welcome into your heart those who are discriminated against for living their faith and give us a big heart to bring them comfort and peace in their pain.

Accompanied with the Holy Father’s intention are his “Attitudes” for the month of January:

“Build cities and countries that, while preserving their respective cultural and religious identity, are open to differences and know how to promote them in the spirit of human fraternity.” I will foster concrete gestures of openness and receptivity with those people with whom I have differences.

“Love also impels us towards universal communion. No one can mature or find fulfilment by withdrawing from others.” I will draw closer to the people with whom I keep my distance. I will take the initiative to bring them closer.

“When we open our hearts to those who are different, this enables them, while continuing to be themselves, to develop in new ways.” I will make proposals to others without imposing and I will receive the other as they are.

Read below the full prayer intention of Pope Francis, and watch “The Pope Video” for January:

“How is it possible that many religious minorities currently suffer discrimination or persecution?

How can we allow that in this society, which is so civilized, there are people who are persecuted simply because they publicly profess their faith? Not only is it unacceptable; it’s inhuman, it’s insane.

Religious freedom is not limited to freedom of worship—that is to say, that people can have a worship service on the day prescribed by their sacred books. Rather, it makes us appreciate others in their differences and recognize them as true brothers and sisters.

As human beings, we have so many things in common that we can live alongside each other, welcoming our differences with the joy of being brothers and sisters.

And may a small difference, or a substantial difference such as a religious one, not obscure the great unity of being brothers and sisters.

Let us choose the path of fraternity. Because either we are brothers and sisters, or we all lose.

Let us pray that those who suffer discrimination and suffer religious persecution, may find in the societies in which they live the rights and dignity that comes from being brothers and sisters.”

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