Rupert Shortt and a Church Besieged | First Things

As anxious as many Christians are about religious freedom in America, nothing we’ve experienced—and God willing, never will—comes close to the brutal persecution of Christians abroad. The stunning extent of this persecution is documented in Times Literary Supplement religion editor Rupert Shortt’s evenhanded and unsettling new book, Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack.

Some 200 million Christians—two-thirds of the entire population of the United States—are now suffering oppression, even to the point of death, on account of their faith. Yet, if you ask the average person about it, they probably wouldn’t know anything about Christianity’s modern martyrdom, much less know where and why it’s occurring.

Rupert Shortt does, having traveled through Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, and returned to tell a story as harrowing as it is unforgettable. In a dozen chapters, thankfully free of political correctness or partisanship, he covers what has been happening to the Christian communities in these regions, and does so with searing honesty and force.

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