Catholic Church leaders in the US and UK have rejected claims by US President Donald Trump that the church is a religion.
The claim is based on a “myth” that the US is the only country in the world where Christians are persecuted.
The Vatican statement also said that the Church’s mission was not to change anyone’s religion.
“The Church is, in fact, a human organization and the Church does not claim to be a religious authority, but rather to serve its own needs and to help others to do the same,” the statement said.
The US is one of the countries where Christianity is at its strongest.
In America, it has been a major force for the nation’s identity and a key force in the political and economic structure of the country.
Trump made the claim on Sunday, during a speech at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York.
The president said: “Our great country is under attack from all sides.
“It’s time to defend American values. “
And to defend the Catholic Church.” “
It’s time to defend American values.
And to defend the Catholic Church.”
Trump said the US would not allow Christians to be persecuted, and that Christians could not be persecuted in the name of religion.
In a separate statement, the Church said that “the United States is not the only nation on Earth that treats Christians with such disrespect”.
“In recent years, the Catholic and other faith traditions of the world have suffered under attacks from those who wish to divide and divide, who seek to harm their faith and promote their prejudices and hatred,” the Catholic bishops’ statement said, referring to the US, which is home to more than 4.5 million Catholics.
In the US at least, there are at least six Christian groups that have received official recognition from the US government as being under attack by the “anti-Christian, anti-God, anti Christian” movement. “
Those who wish the destruction of the Church, of the Gospel and of the truth must understand that the Gospel does not mean that God hates any of His people or that Christians should be persecuted.”
In the US at least, there are at least six Christian groups that have received official recognition from the US government as being under attack by the “anti-Christian, anti-God, anti Christian” movement.
The Catholic bishops statement said: The Church is a religious organization and it does not pretend to be religious authorities, but merely seeks to serve the needs and wishes of its members, including those who do not adhere to its doctrines or practices.
“Our primary mission is to teach the truth about Jesus Christ and His Church, to help members understand the Gospel in a way that will allow them to live in harmony with the Spirit, and to provide a home for the formation of a more harmonious society.”
It added that the churches mission was “to assist those who are in need of guidance, protection, and help, who are persecuted for their faith, or who have been hurt because of it, and who are seeking to rebuild a better world”.
“Those seeking to harm the Church must understand and respect the Church as the only authoritative authority, the source of truth and the refuge of all truth, which means that the Catholic Faith, in particular, cannot be used as a tool to undermine the integrity of the human family,” the bishops’ press release said.
“And so the Church stands for peace and a just peace, not only for the sake of the Christians, but for the good of all mankind.”
The statement did not name any specific Christian groups but said it supported “the work of our faith leaders and other concerned parties to ensure the security of the American people and of our fellow citizens”.
The Vatican’s statement came as the US Catholic bishops met in Washington DC to discuss their response to the new US administration.
The bishops’ meeting came on the same day that the head of the US bishops’ commission, Bishop John F. Tobin, warned that the “war against the church will not end until it is fully and fundamentally defeated”.
In the interview, Tobin also criticised the White House for its recent executive order barring travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“This is not about immigration, it’s about our sovereignty,” Tobin said.