FOX News recently tackled the topic of anti-Christian persecution with an article by Timothy Samuel Shah, associate director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.
Victims of anti-Christian persecution will continue to be ignored, Shah says, “as long as five myths continue to cloud popular thinking about global Christian persecution.”
Shah starts by addressing the concept that persecution of Christians is “just a phenomenon in the Middle East.”
He notes, “The fact is that anti-Christian persecution is spiking well beyond the Middle East. And it is spreading to countries known for their relative stability and religious moderation -- such as India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.”
Shah says the idea that Christians aren’t greatly impacted by persecution is a myth. “According to non-partisan sources such as Pew, the resulting reality is that more Christians face more persecution in more countries than any other religious community,” he says.
And the ramifications aren’t just cultural, he says. “The myth is that, whatever persecution there is, the damage is superficial -- more a loss of multicultural diversity than anything else. But the fact is that societies that systematically persecute Christian minorities are doing themselves major political and economic harm.”
He addresses the concept of Christians supposedly bringing persecution upon themselves by proselytizing. “Christians may proselytize,” he says, “But even more often their faith motivates them to build hospitals, serve the poor, educate children, and aid victims of disaster.”
Finally, Shah addresses the prevalent thought, “Persecution couldn’t happen here.” Or could it? “Non-partisan sources such as Pew show that government restrictions and social hostility against religion -- including Christianity -- have risen dramatically in recent years,” he concludes.
Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project will host a two-day conference in Rome on December 13-14, addressing the growing issue of anti-Christian persecution.
Publication date: December 10, 2013