More work to do to bring about the abolition of the death penalty, says Bishop

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Amnesty International’s Annual Death Penalty Statistics

Bishop Declan Lang, the lead Bishop for International Affairs, has welcomed the continued decline of the death penalty across the world and urged continued efforts towards complete abolition.

Statistics released by Amnesty International recorded 483 executions in 18 countries, a decrease of 26% over the last year. However, the true number is likely to be far higher as this does not include states that keep information about executions secret. There remain at least 28,567 people under sentence of death.

Bishop Lang responded:

“Pope Francis has called upon all Christians and people of goodwill to work for the abolition of the death penalty. We pray for everyone involved in this struggle including campaigners, legal professionals, and policymakers.

“Across the world, progress is being made. However, there is much more work to do. Even those of us living in countries where the death penalty has been consigned to history have an important role to play in the global movement for abolition.

“We pray too for those who have been put to death, their families, their loved ones and all victims of violence. Let us never forget that behind every statistic is a human being made in the image of God.”

“In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis reiterated the Church’s opposition to the death penalty. He wrote that ‘there can be no stepping back’ adding that ‘the Church is firmly committed to calling for its abolition worldwide.'”