"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Islam Destroying Eastern Christianity

This news report is not at all news to those who follow these things, which, alas, is not many of us. It discusses the release of a new study on the decline of Eastern Christianity under the Islamism increasingly rampant across the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere.

The full report may be read here in a PDF, and I commend it to your interest.

One of the people quoted in the article is Anthony O'Mahony of Heythrop College in London, which regularly hosts conferences on Eastern Christianity and on its relations with Islam. O'Mahony, as I've noted before, is the author or editor of numerous important books on these matters, including two with Emma Loosley:  

Eastern Christianity in the Modern Middle East and  

Christian Responses to Islam: Muslim-Christian Relations in the Modern World. 

In addition, he has edited, with John Flannery, of The Catholic Church in the Contemporary Middle East: Studies for the Synod for the Middle East.

The author of the report, Rupert Shortt, has recently published a book entitled Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack (Rider, 2012).

About this book the publisher tells us:
On October 29, 2005, three Indonesian schoolgirls were beheaded as they walked to school – targeted because they were Christians. Like them, many other church members around the world face violence or discrimination for their faith. Why is this religious persecution so widely ignored?

In Christianophobia, Rupert Shortt investigates the shocking treatment of Christians on several continents, revealing that they are oppressed in significantly greater numbers than members of any other faith. The extent of official collusion is also exposed. Even governments that have promised to protect religious minorities routinely break their pledges, with life-shattering consequences.

Young Christians don’t easily become radicalized but tend to resist non-violently or keep a low profile. This has enabled politicians and the media to play down a problem of huge dimensions.

Shortt demonstrates how freedom of belief is the canary in the mine for liberty in general. Published at a time when the fundamental importance of faith on the world stage is at last being recognized, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in people's right to religious freedom, no matter where, or among whom, they live.

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