Veronica Elliot 20 October, 2015
The pope wrote in the prologue for the new Youcat Bible, a German-edition youth Bible, that the Holy Book is “highly dangerous” considering thousands of Christians across the world, especially in the Middle East, are being persecuted for owning one.
“There are more persecuted Christians in the world today than in the early days of the Church. And why are they persecuted? They are persecuted because they wear a cross and bear witness to Jesus. They are convicted because they own a Bible,” Francis wrote in the prologue, as reported by Aleteia.
“The Bible is therefore a highly dangerous book — so dangerous that you are treated in some countries as if you were hiding hand grenades in your closet,” the pope added.
The pontiff goes on to write that young Christians have a “book like fire” that must be read regularly, rather than abandoned on a shelf.
The pope has long been outspoken regarding the plight of Christians around the world, recently suggesting that the current persecution being suffered by Christians in the Middle East is similar to the persecution inflicted on Christians by King Herod in biblical times.
“[…] these atrocious inhuman and incomprehensible persecutions,” are “still present in many parts of the world today, often under the silent gaze of all,” the pope said during a June homily.