The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Frontline of Anti-Christian Persecution  -     By: John L. Allen
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The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Frontline of Anti-Christian Persecution

Image Entertainment / 2013 / Hardcover

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Product Description

John Allen uses his unparalleled knowledge and insight to investigate the troubling worldwide persecution of Christians. From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world's most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directly against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Image Entertainment
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0770437354
ISBN-13: 9780770437350
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

One of the most respected journalists in the United States and the bestselling author of The Future Church uses his unparalleled knowledge of world affairs and religious insight to investigate the troubling worldwide persecution of Christians.
 
From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the world's most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world's 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority-- whether it's Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. In Europe and North America, Christians face political and legal challenges to religious freedom. Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities.
 
"This book is about the most dramatic religion story of the early 21st century, yet one that most people in the West have little idea is even happening: The global war on Christians," writes John Allen. "We’re not talking about a metaphorical ’war on religion’ in Europe and the United States, fought on symbolic terrain such as whether it’s okay to erect a nativity set on the courthouse steps, but a rising tide of legal oppression, social harassment and direct physical violence, with Christians as its leading victims. However counter-intuitive it may seem in light of popular stereotypes of Christianity as a powerful and sometimes oppressive social force, Christians today indisputably form the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often its new martyrs suffer in silence."
 
This book looks to shatter that silence.
 

Author Bio

John L. Allen Jr. is associate editor of The Boston Globe after 16 years as the prize-winning Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.  He also serves as the Senior Vatican Analyst for CNN. He’s the author of seven best-selling books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs, and writes frequently on the Church for major national and international publications. He’s also a popular speaker on Catholic affairs, both in the United States and abroad. His weekly internet column, "All Things Catholic," is widely read as a source of insight on the global Church. John divides his time between Rome and his home in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Western Kansas, and holds a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Kansas.

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Displaying items 1-5 of 9
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  1. theLadyLeigh
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    A War That Deserves Better Coverage
    May 30, 2014
    theLadyLeigh
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    When I first received my copy of "The Global War On Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution" by John L. Allen Jr. to review I was really excited. I wanted to learn about the persecution issues that other Christians in other parts of the world were facing and relatedly, about the socio-political climates that create or foster those conditions. I have been disappointed to find this book not as helpful I hoped.

    In all honesty, this has proven the hardest book for me to review both because of the substance of the book and logistically. Numerous extraordinary personal circumstances have kept this book at the top of my TBR pile but just out of reach of completion for many weeks past when this review was due.

    The book is laid out in three sections:

    ~Anti-Christian Persecution Around the World

    ~Myths About the Global War on Christians

    ~Fallout, Consequences, and Response

    After a brief overview, part one launches into a region by region, country by country discourse on conflicts in the given area. Regions covered are Africa, Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, and Eastern Europe. I was first excited by this section of the book. The Introduction and the Overview are filled with the type of content that I hoped to find- informational, well thought our and reasoned and impassioned- even if I didn't agree with all the arguments made. But here is also where I felt the book start to fall apart.

    As the author begins to relate accounts of persecution and martyrdom I began to notice the distinct lack of footnotes documenting the source of the stories. A quick perusal of the rest of the book and I soon realized that there wasn't any bibliography for this book. Imagine my surprise then that as I continued to read the author of this book actually addresses the lack of footnotes and basically says that to document all the sources for every account he cites would be "unwieldy" and recommends the reader use an "internet search engine" to find everything he talks about! In a non-fiction book, especially one where the author is lauded as "the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNBN and National Public Radio" as well as being an Associate Editor of The Boston Globe this is unforgivable and simply shows the willful lack of credible reporting! An academic type non-fiction book without footnotes is simply a book of fiction and opinion.

    As I moved into what I anticipated to be the meat of the book in the region/country breakdown chapters another thing that became very evident from this point on was that the author was relating stories that were 95% about members of the Catholic church and 5% about Christians from other faith traditions. When selecting this book I knew going in that the author was a Catholic- but with this being a more mainstream publisher not a Catholic one I expected there to be a balance in the material that he related. I was not expecting a book that read like a church periodical, unfortunately that is just what it feels like.

    In addition, I was really frustrated that the majority of the 'info' given on each country was not explaining the socio-political climate but relating the individual stories of the Catholic lay people on the scene. I really didn't learn anything about the area itself or about what Christians face in a particular country, I just heard basic accounts about individual people. As wide spread as persecution is I think it would have been better to relate one powerful story and use it to illustrate what happens, or how and why this is typical of the country instead of overwhelming and (dare I say it?) boring the reader droning on and on with nothing more than news clippings that could be found on the internet.

    In all honesty after a certain point I did give up on completing this book. In all my reviews I've never done that, and in all the reading I've ever done I could count on one hand the books that I've 'quit' on but try after try there was just nothing that engaged or attached me to this book. Nothing stirred me to better understanding or to action on my Christian brother and sister's behalf- and in a book that is meant to do just that that is what I perhaps find the most disappointing....

    The issue, the war on Christians and Christianity is real. It is real and it is powerfully evil but today on some level we all have just tuned out to the realities of this fact. This issue, this war, deserves- and should demand- our attentions. In reading this book the reader should not feel further disconnected and discouraged; they should feel enlivened and ready to help wherever they can. The sad reality of this book is that however much I read about individuals the author never introduced me to and made me care about the people and has instead effectively raised another barrier to the readers dismissal of the issue due to the way the material was presented in this book.

    Final Rating: 1.5

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.
  2. Cliffymania
    Michigan
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    An Excellent Resource
    March 6, 2014
    Cliffymania
    Michigan
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Good

    The book is a veritable encyclopedia of information on the persecution of Christians. Chapters 2 through 6 detail the persecution in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. These stories are enough to make you cringe. The repetition of abuse and violence detailed in the book is enough to make you want to skip pages because it's more of the same. More of the same harassment, torture, and execution of Christians.

    No rose colored glasses here. Allen isn't trying to start a political war between conservatives and liberals, or even religions. He is well aware that politicians of many persuasions have tried to take up the fight, but too often the situation is too religious for liberals and too foreign for conservatives. At the same time the author notes that this persecution is sometimes Christians attacking other Christians. In Ireland the fight rages on between Catholics and Protestants. In Africa, groups claiming to be Christian are attacking other Christians.

    Allen covers many of the myths regarding persecution. The Minority Myth says that persecution only happens where Christians are a minority. This isn't true, but even if it were, Allen shows that if you add up the population of Christians from different countries where they are a minority it totals over 200 million people. That's a lot of people at risk. It's a myth that persecution is all about Islam. It's a myth that motives are always religious. It's a myth that it's a political issue. Persecution is real and happens for many different reasons and in many different places.

    The Bad

    While the book is not theological the author is Catholic and so some of the theological statements are based on a purely Roman Catholic view of the Church. While there are parts of Roman Catholic theology that I disagree with this actually goes to the author's point. He says that aiding those facing persecution shouldn't take second place to our theological differences. In other words, all Christians of every denomination can come together to aid those in danger without agreeing theologically. We all agree that life is sacred and we need to help those who are in trouble.

    The Wrap Up

    This is a difficult book to review because it's a facts and figures kind of book. In part one we get an overview of persecution around the world. In part two we learn about the myths related to persecution. In part three the author gives us some perspective on the potential fallout, what can be done and even the possible positives of persecution.

    Is persecution ever positive? No, it's not and the Allen's point with the book is to show that persecution is leading to the deaths of millions. However, even as we see in the Book of Acts, the Church thrives under persecution. Which makes you wonder if the American Church wouldn't be better off if it faced some of the persecution that the rest of the world faces. We might stop worrying about bands and buildings and start putting more effort into spreading the Gospel.

    If you are unaware of Christian persecution, or believe that it's a myth, you need to read this book.

    - See more at: http://cliffymania.com/blog/2014/03/the-global-war-on-christians-by-john-allen
  3. Phronsie Howell
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    January 31, 2014
    Phronsie Howell
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    The content in "The Global War on Christians" is important for Christians in the Western world to have access to. It's well-written and well-researched, but for me it was a little dry. When it comes to this topic, I think less data and more biography is helpful to connect to the general audience. I do recommend this book, but only if you're a data person. Admittedly, I couldn't get very far into it and I'm still working on it. It was just hard for me to get plugged into it.

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
  4. Debra Elliott
    Trussville AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An Eye Opener
    January 18, 2014
    Debra Elliott
    Trussville AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love reading books about Christianity and when I got the chance to read The Global War on Christians by John Allen, Jr. I was weaved into a different world. The Global War on Christians is blunt and to the point. John Allen Jr doesn't sugar coat the truth. There is a global war on Christians and this book brings it all in perspective.

    After reading this book, I came away with a new perspective and a sense of utter shock. If you are a Christian The Global War on Christians is a must read. If your a non-Christian this is a book you have to read to understand the world of Christian persecution.

    John Allen Jr has done a wonderful job of bringing this touchy and difficult subject to light.
  5. Jon Kenney
    Warner Robins, GA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: The Global War On Christians
    January 14, 2014
    Jon Kenney
    Warner Robins, GA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    About the Book

    I've often found books on religious martyrdom and persecution sobering and humbling. Living in the west, in the most free country in the world has its benefits, but also its downfalls. I do not know of the type of persecution that John Allen Jr. writes about in this book, The Global War On Christians. There are few christians here in America if faced with the type of persecution talked about in this book would withstand it at first encounter, much less endure through it regardless of the cost. Allen relates to that view citing that most christians have, "no personal experience of persecution" (p17). As a Vatican correspondent, Allen has a firsthand view of much of the persecution he writes about. Fortunately for the readers this book is not merely focused on the persecution facing the catholic church. Instead, Allen tells the story of a much broader stroke of religious persecution around the world that is facing christians (I use that term loosely). This book has not been without controversy and rightly so, but more on that later. It took a while to read, and I found myself having to put it down and walk away for a bit after the recounts of some of the persecution stories that Mr. Allen describes through out this book.

    The book has three parts to it, each section addressing a different focus on christian persecution around the world. The first section is a basic overview of anti-christian persecution around the world and more often than not funneled through cries of outrage and statistics over the lack of upfront reporting of these executions and persecutions. One thing that sets this book apart from most other books on persecution and the church is that the vast majority of the stories are recent. This section is very balanced and well written while covering the persecution against christians in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

    The second section of this book focuses on what Allen states are myths about this "global war". Allen suggests that these myths again further his case of the downplaying in the media reporting these horrific events. He writes about myth #1 that christians are only at risk for persecution when they are the minority. In myth #2 he claims most media and governments make the claim there's no rhyme or reason for these persecutions and because they are random, so no one sees them coming. The third myth, and the one I most appreciated, spent time making a case that most persecutions have nothing to do with Islam which is how majority of these occurrences are spoken about in America. The final two myths center around the fact that these attacks aren't always religiously motivated, nor a political statement.

    In the third and final section of this book Allen takes a lighter, almost optimistic tone talking through the social and political fall out, the consequences, and our response. He mentions this is an ongoing issue that holds significant concern for not just the areas he geographically talks about in this book, but also those of us here in the west.

    My Thoughts

    I mentioned in the beginning that this book hasn't gone without controversy to say the least. If you read almost any book review on this you'll see the vast majority of them, most notably the Wall Street Journal, largely pan this book for being too eccentric or over the top. I would say that there are parts to this book where some of Allen's statistics seem pretty incredible and did give me pause. I'm not saying they weren't factual, but if they were completely on target then I would validate Allen's claim to this being a "global war" without question.

    Also, you might recall I acknowledged above that the term ‘christian' should be held loosely here. That's due to the fact Allen collectively considers Catholics and other religious denominations as christian. Noting the stark theological differences, I'd have to use that term very liberally and Allen does just that.

    Regardless of those few analytical crutches, I found this book to be very informative and eye-opening to the crisis of religious persecution around the world in recent years. I would without a doubt recommend it to those interested in this topic or looking for a firsthand perspective. I really appreciated Allen's detailed accounts and honesty about his own feelings on this subject.

    What do you think about this topic? Post a comment below and weigh in on your thoughts about the global persecution of christians.

    "I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."
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