Discussing his book Christianophobiaat the fathom journal, TLS religion editor Rupert Shortt suggests that there is a “hierarchy of victimhood” according to which “it’s just not very fashionable to be a persecuted Christian.” 

Shortt suggests that the reason is partly that Christians follow Jesus’ commandments: “a few years ago a church was bombed in Kathmandu. The culprits might have been Maoist insurgents but were probably Hindu extremists. A friend of mine who is a human rights monitor went out there sometime later, and a local person who wasn’t actually a Christian said to him ‘if this had been a temple, if this had been a synagogue, if this had been a mosque, all hell would have broken loose, but it was a church.’ In other words, members of the congregation dusted themselves down and got on with their lives. I want to stress there’s something deeply admirable about that on one level. I think that ‘an eye for an eye’, ‘tit for tat’ mentality is only going to make matters worse and at some point in a conflict, the cycle needs to be broken. And although there are some parts of the world where I think Christians give as good as they get, Nigeria would be an example, by and large, Christians, while they may not always turn the other cheek, have a much more forbearing attitude than many other religious groups towards those that oppress them. And it’s a sign that they’re taking the teaching of Jesus seriously. So one level I take that as a source of pride, but at the same time I don’t see why news of these sufferings should be muffled.”

More on: Rupert Short

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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