Swedish Historian Dick Harrison: "Persecuted Christians get no Headlines"
The historian Dick Harrison recently wrote a review of a book called "The First Right: Freedom of Religion. Freedom from Religion", written by the deputy secretary general of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, Jacob Rudenstrand. The historian commented that the book was worth reading and pointed out that the current persecution of Christians "hardly gets any media attention."
In Dick Harrison's review of Jacob Rudenstrand's book in Svenska Dagbladet, he commented that today's persecution of Christians hardly gets any media attention, even though they are the most persecuted religious group in the world. Dick Harrison described the book as "a good thought-provoking discussion book."
The historian reflects on the importance of the "freedom from church coercion" throughout history, but at the same time, he highlights that in modern society sometimes people do not have "freedom to" live out their religion without repercussion or discrimination. He wrote about the stigmatization of religious people: "In today's society, it can be highly stigmatizing for a politician to publicly confess that he or she is not an agnostic or atheist".
"Boko Haram's persecution of Christians in Nigeria brings to mind martyrdom stories from the worst days of the Roman Empire, but they don't get much headlines in Sweden. It is as if we have allowed the complex of problems as such to be pushed back in time, into history, and thus choose to ignore the irrefutable fact that the lack of religious freedom still leads to bloody cascades of violence today," wrote Harrison.
"Historically, religious freedom is a more radical concept than most Swedes realize," he writes.
Finally, he commented on the danger of intolerance of others' beliefs: "What sticks in the mind most is the peculiar religious blindness that has established itself as an overarching pattern of thought in our secularized society. Here Rudenstrand has an important point. All our human experience to date shows emphatically that narrow mindsets, especially intolerance and incomprehension of other people's existential beliefs, can have dangerous, sometimes deadly, consequences for society".
Symbolic Photo from Abel Marquez on Unsplash