Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Review: A Voice for our Brothers and Sisters

Image provided a complimentary copy of The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution by John L. Allen Jr., in exchange for an honest book review.
     The "war on Christianity" has been misused in political rhetoric now for years. Defining what religious persecution is, is in itself a taxing task. The debates are endless and of course, everyone wants to be correct. So, this book sets out to tackle the issues head on with a sobering humility.
     Author John L. Allen Jr. writes with an uncanny ability to distinguish observable fact from fiction and estimates the unobservable circumstances as best as anyone can. A lot of the persecution that Christians endure worldwide does not have a face, many victims don't even have names. Ultimately, The Global War on Christians gives the faceless and nameless a voice.
     The atrocities people face for their beliefs is scandalous and heart-wrenching. No one should ever have to suffer at the hands of others for their beliefs, yet it is a daily occurrence. The West is so far removed from the tragedies it is truly hard to comprehend real persecution. These brothers and sisters are not just suffering at the hands of radicals of other religions, but Christian zealots as well. There is an inter-group struggle to dominate some countries, pitting Catholics against Protestants and vice versa.  Allen defines persecutions, gives a rather tedious account of persecution continent by continent and then cuts out myth from fact. He also delves into the repercussions that result from persecution.
      It was startling to say the very least to read of atrocities too great for anyone to bear. The better part of the book was absolutely awful to read, though not of any fault of Mr. Allen's writing. Rather it was the nature of the work that made this volume at times downright dreadful.
     It is hard to say that The Global War on Christians is a good book in the enjoyable sense. The content is awful, though thorough. I am glad to have read it page by page coming to question what I know of the world around me in contrast to the world at large. This book looks at Christians, yet it never negates the value of any people group, while still calling out certain groups (even Christians) for their hatred. I am wiser for reading this work and certainly more aware of what our brothers and sisters endure all for the name of Christ.
     The Global War on Christians is a wonderful book as it will give you a new or renewed sense of awe for what other Christians are willing to endure. You may even question the depth of your faith. More than likely, some scenarios you read of will make you uncomfortable. However, I hope this book will reach the hands of millions and give a voice to the voiceless.

You can read the first chapter here.

Purchase at Amazon through here.

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