Readers who’ve finished Ephraim Radner’s unambiguous review of Candida Moss’ The Myth of Persecution (May 2013) may be interested to know that the exchange continues in Notre Dame’s Irish Rover, the school’s alternative Catholic paper. Moss focuses on the propriety of deploying the rhetoric of persecution:
Not every Christian who dies tragically and violently in a foreign country is the victim of persecution. And it is not necessary to set every tragedy in the apocalyptic framework of the struggle between good and evil. Nor should we allow a particular interest in Christians to obscure the broader historical context of these events. The persecution of Christians in China is less one front in a “global war” than it is one facet of the Chinese government’s censorship of religion in general. Failing to adequately contextualize such incidents means that the plight of other groups, in this case the Falun Gong, is obscured by the claim that Christians have it the worst.
While her interlocutor, professor of political science Daniel Philpott, replies:
Christians are not the only sufferers of religious persecution. So are Baha’is in Iran, Muslims in Gujurat, India and Hindu Tamils in Sri Lanka. Some 75 percent of the world’s population inhabits countries that deny religious freedom, the Pew Forum reported in 2010. Still, Christians comprise the lion’s share of the lion’s den and are estimated to be 80 percent of the world’s victims of persecution. Contrary to the title and thesis of Moss’ book, there is nothing mythical about Christian persecution.
Read the whole thing here.
h/t: Anna Williams