John Allen’s book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution is an excellent and sobering read for Advent.
The result of his usual meticulous research and objective reporting, Allen chronicles the growing persecution of Christians worldwide. What’s interesting about the book is its scope. We usually think of this as a problem with radical Muslims. Allen shows that extremist Buddhists, Hindus and fellow Christians persecute. The persecution is not just torture, imprisonment and death, but lower levels of personal prejudice, legislative restrictions, social repression and exclusion of all kinds.
Furthermore, it is not just members of other religions who persecute Christians, but right wing governments, left wing governments, gangsters, unscrupulous businessmen–you name it. Finally, Allen points out that the problem is very complex. Christians are often persecuted not specifically for being Christians, but because they have taken a political, economic or moral stance because of their faith. A nun who defends aboriginal people from loggers who are about to destroy their land might be abducted and shot. She’s not been persecuted because she believes in Christ, but because she is taking a stand–but she is only taking a stand because she believes in Christ.
The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution is a powerful eye opener. Read my full review of the book here on the Crisis website.