On Breitbart News Daily, John L. Allen painted a gruesome picture of the ordeal of millions of Christians throughout the world, and the scandalous ignorance and indifference to their plight in the West.
One of the world’s leading experts on Christian persecution and the author of the 2013 bestseller The Global War on Christians, Allen spoke with Breitbart News Executive Chairman and SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Thursday, recounting the rising tide of violence targeting Christians worldwide.
Allen insisted that the term “war” against Christians is a precise description of what is going on, not in the sense of “a unified command structure” but in the massive “body count” and the cohesive motive of hatred against the Christian faith.
“The high-end estimate for the number of new Christian martyrs every year is around 100 thousand,” Allen stated. “The low-end estimate is about 7 or 8 thousand. Which works out to one casualty either every five minutes or every hour, of every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If that’s not a war, I’m not sure we’ve ever seen one.”
The war on Christians is also “global,” Allen argued, with some “200 million Christians in the world today who are daily at risk of physical assault, arrest, imprisonment, torture or death.”
“That’s 200 million people we’re talking about, spread all across the planet,” he said.
Although Christians are persecuted all over the globe by different groups, there is little doubt about the central role that Islam plays in the war on Christians, Allen said. “Radical Islam today is the world’s leading manufacturer of anti-Christian hatred, and there is no place on earth that is more of a danger zone for Christians today than those places under ISIS control,” he said.
Allen, who owns and runs Crux, a Catholic news agency offering reporting and analysis on the Catholic Church, said that what makes Christian persecution unique is that it is a “singularly untold story, particularly in the West.” It is easier for people to get their minds around “the fact that Jews might be oppressed, or that gays might be oppressed, than to understand that Christians can actually be the victims of persecution,” he said.
“To me, the fact that the media business in the West does not tell this story is nothing short of a scandal,” Allen said, and even though Christians have a special spiritual reason for being concerned, “it doesn’t require any religion at all to recognize this as the premier human rights issue of our time.”
Allen said that his interest in Christian persecution began in 2001, on a trip to Ukraine to cover the visit of Pope John Paul II, which turned out to be something of an awakening for him. “You gotta understand,” he said. “I’m a kid who grew up in rural western Kansas in the 70s. My idea of suffering for the faith was eating fish sticks and mac & cheese on Fridays during Lent. That’s the closest I ever got to ‘carrying the cross.’”
In Ukraine, Allen met a young woman whose grandfather had been a Greek Catholic priest and was imprisoned in a gulag and later executed by the Soviets. The man was told he either had to renounce his Christian faith or he would be killed. When he refused, they killed him, “but not with the simple expedient of a bullet to the brain, but they crucified him upside down on the gulag wall. And left him to die for four or five days,” Allen said.
When Allen met the young woman, she was crying. When he asked her why, she said that the reason for her tears was that she was imagining what had to be in her grandfather’s heart that day looking down from heaven and seeing the Holy Father standing on Ukrainian soil.
And what that brought home to me, Allen said, “is that the story of martyrdom, the story of persecution is not just from the early centuries with Christians being fed to the lions but it’s very much a part of the here and now.”
“And I wanted to be involved in telling that story,” he said.
Listen to the full audio of Allen’s interview on Breitbart News Daily below:
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.
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