The religious rights group Open Doors reports that 100 million Christians worldwide are persecuted or discriminated against in their own countries.
Most of them live in nations where Islam is the dominant religion. Communist nations like China, cuba, and North Korea are also offenders.
In many of these nations, Christians aren't allowed to build churches, buy bibles, or find good jobs. In the worst cases, they are arrested, beaten, and sometimes murdered.
But the European Union is taking steps to help them. This week, Italy's foreign minister told an Italian newspaper the EU has set up a working group on religious freedom.
He said they're devising a set of protocols to quote "closely monitor the treatment of religious minorities, especially Christian minorities, in the most sensitive countries.'
For more insight on the significance of this development, Christian World News spoke to Jordan Sekulow, director of international affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice. Click play for his comments.
He added that the EU will draw up a set of guidelines -- a manual -- for EI nation embassies in countries where persecution exists. The idea is to help those embassies evaluate religious freedom and possibly provide policy recommendations to encourage these countries to improve their treatment.
This is all in its early stages, but if it happens the way Italy's foreign minister says, it could mean persecuted Christians have a new and powerful ally.
*Originally broadcast on March 5, 2010.