Denver, Colo., Oct 6, 2013 / 04:06 pm (CNA).- In his new book “The Global War on Christians,” Vatican analyst John Allen, Jr. details anti-Christian abuse worldwide, drawing light to the tremendous scale of violence against the world’s most persecuted religion.
“I don’t think it takes any religious convictions or confessional interests at all to see that defense of persecuted Christians deserves to be the world’s number one human rights priority,” Allen, a noted Vatican journalist and author, told CNA in an Oct. 2 interview.
“You didn’t have to be Jewish in the ’70s to be worried about dissident Jews in the Soviet Union; you didn’t have to be black in the ’80s to be concerned about apartheid in South Africa; and you equally don’t have to be Christian today to recognize that Christians are the most persecuted religious body on the planet.”
Allen’s work, published Tuesday by Image Books, arises directly from a conversation he had with Cardinal Dolan in 2009, in which the prelate made the point that Christians “need to do a better job of telling these stories” of Christian persecution, like the body of “Holocaust literature” showed the suffering of Jews under Hitler.
However, Allen became interested in the subject of anti-Christian persecution while traveling to Ukraine for Pope John Paul II’s 2001 trip there.
At that time, Allen met the granddaughter of an Eastern Catholic priest who had been killed in a gulag during the Soviet era.
“That conversation brought home that martyrdom is very much a feature of the contemporary Christian landscape.”
Prior to that, he said, “like a lot of Catholics … when I thought of martyrdom, I considered it an artifact of the early centuries of the Church, the early Christian martyrs under Nero and Diocletian.”
“The more I would travel the world and meet victims of anti-Christian persecution in various places, the more the scale and scope of this thing came home to me.”
Allen notes that in the first decade of the 21st century, 100,000 Christians were killed – eleven new martyrs every hour – and secular human rights groups estimate that 80 percent of religious freedom violations are current directed against Christians.
Despite these massive figures, the worldwide persecution of Christians is little known in the U.S., and Allen said the first purpose of his book is “to end the silence about anti-Christian persecution … to put it on the map.”
Highlighting that “this is a literal war (Read More)