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Christian persecution ratings

Jim Bowman replies to the criticism of "Christian persecution ratings": "The "Christian Persecution" rankings are a reflection of religious tolerance in general. If they allow Christians to have broadcasts, then it is an indication of tolerance of other views, political, religious, social, etc. If you compare the Christian tolerance list with human rights lists you will find they are similar.

In defense of Christian "evangelists," they attempt to persuade, not coerce. I have always believed that the marketplace should be able to receive ideas, to reject or accept them. Individuals should be in the position of freely choosing. That is all evangelical Christian missionaries ask. In the countries that rank high in Christian persecution, little such openness exists. Ranking countries in terms of persecution is a two fold consideration: 1)it is an indication of how difficult Christian evangelizing will be and 2)it is a call to humankind to recognize the violation of human rights. I know these are hard statements but I make them honestly as a human being.

As a person trained in Judeo-Christian theology, I point out that when God created humankind, he left the question of choices to Adam and Eve. God did not force his will on them. True, he warned that the consequences of evil would result in decay and death. But he did not say, "the day you eat of it, I will kill you." He said, "The day you eat of it you will surely die." It was a warning, not a threat. And they chose. That is the "Christian" principle on which freedom of choice is based. Some political Christians think that the United States ought to be Christian because it was "founded on Christian principles." I disagree. The Christian principle involved is that of freedom of choice. This is what lacks in countries of high "Christian persecution." Buddhists will also suffer the same persecution in those same places..

I agree with Ronald Hilton completely, that each religion needs to be studied. In my conversations with people, it is rare to find a person who has anything but a superficial knowledge of how they compare. I often ask this question, "In what way do you find Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity the same, and how do you find them different?" Few can answer with depth of knowledge".

Ronald Hilton - 9/18/02