Most American Christians (myself included) have no idea of the global war on Christians. We ignore the issue because, in general, we've not experienced persecution ourselves.
Yet Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet. (1) Open Doors estimates one hundred million Christians world wide presently face interrogation, arrest, torture, or death because of their belief.
This book is about the literal war on Christians underway in the world. It is not about the U. S. nor intellectual attacks on Christianity. This book is about the threat to the lives of Christians across the globe.
Allen gives an overview of an area and then a country by country look at the situation. He has added some individual stories as well. Some of the stories are expected, such as those from Muslim and communist countries. But some are unexpected, such as those from Israel.
Is the situation serious today? Aren't we in an era of religious enlightenment and tolerance? Allen writes, “Of the 70 million Christian martyrs since the time of Christ, half, 45 million, died in the twentieth century.” (33) It is estimated that 80 percent of all religious discrimination is against Christians.
Allen argues that Christians have a special obligation to come to the aid of their persecuted brothers and sisters. We can no longer ignore what is happening to Christians around the world. He ends his book with practical steps Christians can take, from praying to relief and advocacy.
It is time we Christians considers ourselves part of a global family of faith. Reading this book will help us on the way to that point.
You can read chapter one of the book here.
John L. Allen Jr. is the senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the senior Vatican analyst for CNN, and writes for other national and international publications. He is the author of seven previous books. Find out more about him here.
Image (an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House), 308 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review.