In his new book The Global War on Christians, Vatican analyst John Allen details anti-Christian abuse worldwide, drawing light to the tremendous scale of violence against the religion, reports the Catholic News Agency.
'I don't think it takes any religious convictions or confessional interests at all to see that defense of persecuted Christians deserves to be the world’s number one human rights priority,' Allen, a noted Vatican journalist and author, told CNA in an interview last week.
'You didn't have to be Jewish in the 1970s to be worried about dissident Jews in the Soviet Union; you didn't have to be black in the 1980s to be concerned about apartheid in South Africa; and you equally don't have to be Christian today to recognise that Christians are the most persecuted religious body on the planet.'
Allen's work arises directly from a conversation he had with US Cardinal Timothy Dolan in 2009, in which the prelate made the point that Christians 'need to do a better job of telling these stories' of Christian persecution, like the body of 'Holocaust literature' showed the suffering of Jews under Hitler.
However, Allen became interested in the subject of anti-Christian persecution while traveling to Ukraine for Pope John Paul II's 2001 trip there. At that time, Allen met the granddaughter of an Eastern Catholic priest who had been killed in a gulag during the Soviet era. 'That conversation brought home that martyrdom is very much a feature of the contemporary Christian landscape.'