“Persecution is the daily bread for the Church”. This was reiterated by the Pope in his homily, during Mass celebrated at Santa Marta today. “When we go touring around Rome and go to the Coliseum, we think martyrs were those killed with lions”, Francis said: “But martyrs were not just those, or those. They are ordinary men and woman: those of today, Easter Day, just three weeks ago … Those Christians who were celebrating Easter in Pakistan were martyred just because they were celebrating Christ the Resurrected. And so the life of the Church goes on with its martyrs”. In addition to “anti-Christian persecution”, like the one suffered by Stephen, the first martyr, “there is another persecution that is not so much talked about”, a persecution “dressed up as culture, dressed up as modernity, dressed up as progress”, the Pope warned: “It is a – I’d call it, a bit ironically – ‘polite’ persecution. It is when man is persecuted not for confessing the name of Christ but for wanting to have and show the values of God’s Son. It is a persecution against God the Maker in the person of His children! And so every day we see that the powers lay down laws that force one to go along this way, and a nation that does not adhere to such modern, polite laws, or at least does not want to have them in its legislation, is accused, is politely persecuted. It is the persecution that takes freedom away from man, even conscientious objection!”. “This is the persecution of the world” that “takes freedom away”, while “God – the Pope states – has made us free” to be the witnesses “of the Father who made us and of Christ who saved us”. “The leader of this ‘polite’ persecution”, Jesus appointed it: the prince of the world. And when powers want to impose attitudes, laws against the dignity of God’s Son persecute them and go against God the Maker. It is the great apostasy. So the life of Christians goes on with these two persecutions”.