Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Global War on Christians By John L. Allen, Jr.

The Most Dramatic Religion Story of the Early 21st Century
...Yet One that Most Americans Know Little About

The bestselling author of The Future Church provides a compelling account of religious persecution from around the globe and a worldview-altering challenge to American Christians to wake up and take notice. As the recipients of a rising tide of legal oppression, social harassment, and direct physical violence, twenty-first century Christians have become the world's most persecuted religious group.

In The Global War on Christians, John L. Allen, Jr. uses his unparalleled knowledge and insight to bring to light this growing epidemic. Inspired by his own personal experiences, Allen sets out to tell the stories of a new generation of Christian martyrs.

Part one begins with snapshots of anti-Christian persecution with a focus on events from the past twenty years. In this section, Allen provides representative examples of the kinds of suffering Christians around the world endure, covering everything from legal harassment and social discrimination, to torture, physical assault, and all too often, death.

In part two, he goes on to clear up five common myths about the global war on Christians, including the idea that Christians are vulnerable only when they are a minority, and that the war on Christians is a left-wing or right-wing issue.  

Finally, in part three, Allen examines the observable fallout of the global war on Christians and considers practical steps that both individuals and communities can take to try to express solidarity for its victims.

The inspiration behind this book: "I can date with precision the first time I considered global anti-Christian persecution as a possible topic. It was during a 2009 conversation with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who mused that perhaps Christians haven't roused themselves to confront the problem because we don't have our own Holocaust literature. He meant that Christians haven't told the stories of their new martyrs in a compelling way, in the same fashion that Jewish authors have described the horrors of the Shoah. This book is my own small contribution to a budding Christian genre dedicated to telling these stories, and I want to thank Dolan for that nudge." --John L. Allen, Jr.

Staggering statistics:
  • According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.
  • According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth.
  • According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the center calls a 'situation of witness' each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.

See The War on Christians at The Spectator.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John L. Allen, Jr. is the senior Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio. He is the author of The Rise of Benedict XVI, All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks, and A People of Hope: The Challenges Facing the Catholic Church and the Faith That Can Save It. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, The Nation, and many other publications. His Internet column, "All Things Catholic," is considered to be the best single source of insights on Vatican affairs in the English language.

No comments: