Pope Benedict XVI declared in his annual World Peace Day message on Thursday that Christians are the world's most persecuted religious group.
He said religious intolerance and violence is an insult to God, human dignity and is a threat to world security.
"Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance," Benedict lamented.
The pontiff cited the recent attack on a Catholic cathedral in Iraq and also condemned what he called "sophisticated forms of hostility" including rejection of religious symbols.
Christian author and journalist David Aikman recently told CBN news most Americans aren't even aware of abuses against the global body of Christ.
"For two or three generations now we've had elite universities basically teaching their undergraduates that the only villains in history who oppressed others for religious reasons were the Christians," Aikman said.
"And the Crusades were always brought up," he continued. "So knowledge of Christian communities in different countries of the world is extremely poorly taught in American colleges and schools."
Meanwhile, Benedict has been continuing a campaign launched by his predecessor, the late John Paul II, to revive Europe's "Christian roots."