Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The Global War on Christians by John L. Allen Jr.
If you are living in one of the Western countries of the world, while reading this blog, then the odds are very likely that you have received very minimal persecution for your religious beliefs. Oh, you may have been laughed at, given dirty looks and perhaps heard obscenities shouted at you. But you most likely have not been dragged into a concentration camp, tortured or left for dead because of your faith (and if you have been, I'm very sorry for you and pray for you). Yet, these trials are what multiplied thousands of those who call themselves Christians endure daily around the world. And that is the subject of John L. Allen Jr's book The Global War on Christians.
The title of the book makes no attempt to hide the contents and neither do the chapters. The writer begins with an overview of the subject and sharing stories from areas around the world like Africa, Asia, the Middle East and others. He then spends a few chapters discussing the myths that surround persecution, such as 'Nobody Saw It Coming'. He concludes the volume with a series of chapters which address the fallout, consequences and response of persecution. It's a wealth of material addressing this often overlooked subject and it is an eye opening education if you have never been exposed to these issues.
Overall the book is good. It's an important subject that needs addressed by many more writers. However, I did not find the book to be an easy read. It wasn't because of the subject matter, because that is important. I found the author addressing persecution well, but also lumping categories of groups as 'Christian' which some might disagree with strongly. While I do not downplay their suffering either, since no one deserves to be tortured or killed for their beliefs, I find that he does not distinguish between faiths very well. It is also quite lengthy and not easy to finish. But I did find myself praying at many times. And it will open your eyes to what many endure for the sake of Christ.
I received this book for free through the "Water Brook/Multnomah Publishing Group" for this review. You may read a sneak peek of the book at http://www.imagecatholicbooks.com/sneak-peek-the-global-war-on-christians-by-john-allen-jr/. The book is very graphic. But, my hope as you read is that no matter where you live in the world, you'll pray for those enduring these trials and will never be able to say 'Nobody Saw It Coming'.