Friday, May 17, 2013

The persecution of Christians

Christians — as those who have been paying attention know — are among the most persecuted of religious groups in the world today. But most people haven't been paying attention and, by and large, our news media haven't helped them to. In a review of Christianophobia: A Faith under Attack at the Christian Science Monitor.com, the author's conclusions about why such persecution tends to be ignored:
.... Rupert Shortt points out that “[o]ne reason why Western audiences hear so little about religious oppression in the Muslim world is straightforward: young Christians in America and Europe do not become ‘radicalized,’ and persecuted Christians tend not to respond with terrorist violence.”

Another reason for the silence, he adds, stems from the fear that criticizing Muslims will prompt charges of racism. A third explanation lies in the fact that many liberals in the West look askance at Christianity in the developing world due to a simplistic and often historically inaccurate belief that its spread was bound up with Western imperialism.

Shortt, religion editor at the (London) Times Literary Supplement and biographer of Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury), begins with the premise “that freedom of belief and association are unqualified goods” and proceeds to examine countries – including several non-Muslim ones – that deny them to Christians. .... [more]
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