by Robert R Reilly, MercatorNet:
A new book chronicles two millennia of hostility towards Christianity.
It is extraordinary that a work of little more than 220 pages can cover a subject so vast, particularly as it also recounts how, when, and where Christianity spread in the first place. It is almost three books in one. In addition, it explains not only why Christians were persecuted, but why they were willing to endure persecution.
As is well known, Christianity was born in a hemorrhage of blood – first Christ’s, then almost all his apostles’. Roman and Islamic Christian persecution is fairly well known, but Sookhdeo’s accounts from India, Africa, Southeast Asia, China and other parts of the Orient may be news to many. Some of the treatment is sketchy because so little is known of what actually took place due to the paucity of historical sources from early ages and far-flung places.
A tour d’horizon must of necessity be sweeping, yet the book is studded with fascinating historical details. Did you know, for instance, about the disappeared Christian church of Arabia, which once contained eight dioceses? Sookhdeo provides archaeological evidence and intriguing photographs of it.
As this illuminating book demonstrates, hatred without a reason ironically turns out to be hatred with a reason – not surprisingly related to the reason that Christ was killed in the first place. He was accused of blasphemy.