I reviewed John Allen’s important book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution for Crisis magazine website here.
The Anchoress gives an in depth and excellent outline and review of the book on her blog here.
Christmas aside, the bottom line is this: in America we live in a habitual conceit of primacy; we think if something isn’t happening here, it’s not happening anywhere, and if something is happening here, it’s either better or worse — but by all means more worthy of note and action — than anything that’s happening in other parts of the world.
In the case of religious persecution, for example, the argument can be made (and I have certainly been willing to make it) that the creeping governmental and court-supported intrusions upon religious conscience are a kind of incipient persecution — one that portends an anti-religious, conscience-crushing future.
All symptoms noted, that future is distant. If we want to gain some useful perspective, however, on what anti-Christian persecution entails, and understand how 100,000 or so Christians are slain each year for professing the Christ, then it’s time to read John L. Allen’s unnerving new book,The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution
One of the things I have noticed upon my return to the USA (after living in England for twenty five years) is the isolationism, ignorance and blinkered attitude of so many Americans to the global realities. Many of us live in a kind of sugar coated fantasy land where everything is artificially wonderful.
Things are grim for Christians around the world and we need to wake up and be aware.
A Nigerian in our parish reminds me, “Father, Americans need to wake up. They are asleep, and the enemy is creeping in even as they continue their ways of materialism and pleasure seeking.”