Religious Persecution of Christian Beliefs

Topics: Christianity, Religion, Religious persecution Pages: 3 (875 words) Published: November 19, 2003
Religious Persecution of Christian Beliefs What is religious persecution? At the beginning of this project, I thought religious persecution was a black and white topic with a clear definition. I thought that religious persecution was simply the persecution of a group because of their religious faith. However, I discovered that there are no simple explanations of religious persecution, and it is a much more complex and controversial issue than I had imagined. In fact, some events categorized as religious persecution reveal only shades of grey and ambiguities and do not neatly fit this simple definition. I wanted others to come to this same understanding. Therefore, I have formulated my own definition of religious persecution. It is the persecution of individuals within a group in the struggle to maintain their religious identity, or the abuse of power by an individual or organization that causes members of a religious group to suffer.

In the case of the Holocaust, there is little argument about who created the extermination camps or what caused the death of approximately 6 million Jews. The Holocaust is probably the most well-known case of religious persecution. But my research shows that the persecution of the Jews extended well beyond simply targeting all the members of a particular faith. Instead, Hitler labeled the Jews as a race, and used his political power to exterminate the entire race.

While violence against Christians has been increasing worldwide, and while Christians in the East are becoming "an endangered species," according to author William Dalrymple, attention to the crisis in the broadsheets and broadcasts of the West is "occasional and momentary" at best. No doubt this reticence must in part have to do with the West's tendency to quarantine religion out of public discourse and concern.

The persecution of Christians lays a special injunction on the church in the West to examine modern paradigms and strategies for evangelism....
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