Religious Persecution of Christian Beliefs

875 WordsNov 19, 20034 Pages
Religious Persecution of Christian Beliefs What is religious persecution? At the beginning of this project, I thought religious persecution was a black and white topic with a clear definition. I thought that religious persecution was simply the persecution of a group because of their religious faith. However, I discovered that there are no simple explanations of religious persecution, and it is a much more complex and controversial issue than I had imagined. In fact, some events categorized as religious persecution reveal only shades of grey and ambiguities and do not neatly fit this simple definition. I wanted others to come to this same understanding. Therefore, I have formulated my own definition of religious persecution.…show more content…
A majority of Democrats (72%), political independents (53%), and pastors from NCC denominations (66%) agreed with the statement, compared to a minority among Republicans (32%) and pastors from NAE-member denominations (29%). Interestingly, a majority of ministers agreed with the statement "Persecution of Christians because of their faith is a major problem in the United States." Sixty-one percent of all pastors agreed with this statement, although just 16% agreed strongly, while the rest agreed somewhat with the statement. Although Republicans (72%), political independents (60%), and evangelical pastors (70%) were more likely than other groups to claim religious persecution in the United States is a major problem, a significant proportion of Democrats (35%) and pastors from NCCC-member denominations (46%) also agreed with the statement. More Christians have died for their faith in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined. Each year, about 150,000 are martyred, two million are being actively persecuted, and millions more are living with their religious freedoms severely restricted. Religions make claims about the nature of the world, the origin of man, the means of salvation, and so on. The Constitutional freedom of religion gives citizens the right to believe these claims, and freedom of speech gives them the right to make these claims publicly. Freedom of religion is not a prize for governments to award

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