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The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  32 reviews
One of the most respected journalists in the United States and the bestselling author of The Future Church uses his unparalleled knowledge of world affairs and religious insight to investigate the troubling worldwide persecution of Christians.

From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians in the early 21st century are the
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Image (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Christians
Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận’s biography drew my attention to the plight of suffering Christians all over the world. Somehow the situation has managed to remain on my periphery as a ‘Middle Eastern problem’. I mean, after all, isn’t the Church strong in Africa and India? In some places American Catholic churches are being held together thanks to an influx of priests from these Third World nations where vocations are plentiful. And yet, it is actually the persecutions daily endured ...more
Danusha Goska
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
John L. Allen Jr.'s book "The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution" is required reading for all serious Christians, as well as anyone who cares about world peace and human rights. Christians are the most numerous among victims of those persecuted for their religious beliefs; "80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians" (9). Christians face persecution in more countries than the followers of ...more
Jonathan Brown
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps less shocking now than when it was first written - this book was published in October 2013 and, consequently, contains a total of zero references to ISIS and their atrocities. But this book contains much that's still horrifying and difficult to stomach. John L. Allen Jr., an experienced Roman Catholic journalist, offers a robust and well-rounded assessment of anti-Christian persecution in the world today. Numerous studies by both religious and secular groups have found that at least 80% ...more
Daniel Haas
May 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pointless
On the back cover it says: "It's time to wake up." Okay, I respond, I've never paid to much attention to modern day martyrs, so please wake me up.

A few pages in the author includes all fallen Soldiers of WWI and WWII in his count of "persecuted Christians". Well, you lost me there.
Jon Kenney
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
About the Book

I've often found books on religious martyrdom and persecution sobering and humbling. Living in the west, in the most free country in the world has its benefits, but also its downfalls. I do not know of the type of persecution that John Allen Jr. writes about in this book, The Global War On Christians. There are few christians here in America if faced with the type of persecution talked about in this book would withstand it at first encounter, much less endure through it regardless
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
The Good

The book is a veritable encyclopedia of information on the persecution of Christians. Chapters 2 through 6 detail the persecution in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. These stories are enough to make you cringe. The repetition of abuse and violence detailed in the book is enough to make you want to skip pages because it’s more of the same. More of the same harassment, torture, and execution of Christians.

No rose colored glasses here. Allen isn’t trying to
Reet Champion
All over the world Christians are being persecuted. In John L. Allen Jr.'s latest release readers are taken on a trip around the world to be at the side of Christians who are experiencing brutalities beyond the imagination.

Located in a sweltering desert shipping containers housing prisoners stand as ominous witnesses to brutality. Inmates are shoved into the containers to such the extent that it is impossible to lay down; there is standing room only. When they are given no water prisoners resort
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: persecution
The Global War on Christians by John L. Allen is a 2013 addition to the body of works addressing persecution. So why should you read this one and not one or more of the others? I believe it is because Allen’s treatment of the ongoing crisis of persecution is both traditional and unique. As do many of the other authors of books on persecution, Allen presents a world-wide, extensive, view of what has been happening. For his purposes, Allen’s focus is on the past twenty years.

What is different
Mazzou B
Jan 01, 2014 rated it did not like it

The Global War on Christians by John L. Allen, Jr.
More Info
Read Chapter One
Author Bio
As I only discovered after receiving this book and beginning it, the author is a well-known news reporter for CNN and a devout Catholic.
He 'generously' includes Protestants, Catholics and I don't know what else in the term ''Christian'' and then proceeds to describe instances where these groups were persecuted. Although I most definitely sympathize with all persecuted people especially murdered and otherwise
E.josiah Luebben
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The whole "citations would be too cumbersome" is ridiculous and his particular world view is obvious (not a bad thing as long as you read aware of it), but aside from that it's a good read with a lot of good information and perspective. Activates the passions of this lazy American Christian. Getting me to, at the very least, check out some of the organizations he lists in lieu of citations and also to remember our brothers and sisters regularly in prayer again.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology-church
Allen, in almost grinding detail, tells of persecution and violence against Christians across the globe. He does so for four primary reasons.

First, he simply documents the depth of injury to the Christian community. There is extensive research describing the murder, incarceration and communal violence toward people of faith (usually making them refugees) from many nations. Bluntly, for a wide variety of reasons, Allen makes a superlative case for seeing the larger Christian community facing
Frank Kelly
A provocative and highly disturbing report on the explosive growth of anti-Christian violence and discrimination around the world. Allen offers a clear-eyed assessment of where, what and why this is happening along with an excellent section which pushes aside many of the myths that immediately pop up when this issue is discussed (i.e. it is not simply Muslims doing it to Christians, that it is simply a religious motivation that causes it, etc.). Written in 2013, the book would, unfortunately, be ...more
Gayle Pace
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it

Very often we as American Christians don't stop to think of the many blessing we have. We just assume they will always be there. Often we turn our ears in the off position when it comes to what others are facing. We just go on and say, it's not about me. But, THINK, it is about you. It's not just Christians who are persecuted day by day, but others also. If you can't or don't want to face the reality of the persecution that is taking place, don't read this book. If you have an open mind
A.C. Cuddy
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Global War On Christians – Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution. As a Christian living in the United States of America, the title of this book caught my eye. We’ve all known for some time that Christians around the world have been, and continue to be, persecuted for their beliefs. We read from time to time their stories, and hear about the tragedy’s that befall them in their mission work. It is through my own naïveté, that I assumed that this was because these folks ...more
Liz Terek
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it

With all the liberties American Christians have, it’s easy to take them for granted. Most of us are well aware of the suffering faced overseas. But, perhaps, we’ve not heard in depth stories of what exactly goes on there.

John Allen, Jr. has compiled a work in which we can get a full view of what these Christians endure daily. None of the factual stories are pretty, but suffering never is, is it? Mr. Allen’s purpose is clear: Don’t forget those on the front lines. Each account is relayed with
Dan Curnutt
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Living in the Western World Culture most of my readers will have never felt religious persecution. Sure you may have people who think you are crazy for believing in God, or they might be a bit antagonistic if you talk about religion, but they aren't going to pull out a gun and shoot you or grab a sword and chop off your head because of your beliefs.

But that is not true through much of the world. Religious persecution is still alive and well in most of the world. Christians are dying regularly at
Yoni Esterman
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
There is a war going on right now against Christians.

At least, that is what this book wants you to know. This book examines how Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. Written by a respected journalist, this book travels the world in the early twenty-first century to see how devastating the damage is. Stats show that 80% of the persecution and human rights violations are against Christians for their faith.

We live in a world that has greatly dismissed the notion of
Angie Jones
May 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am finding this a difficult book to read. There are scores of gruesome stories of unimaginable human rights abuses and the book is dragging on and not very engaging, but in fairness, it is a very difficult topic. One thing that is particularly troubling to me is the way the author deals with footnoting his facts. He doesn't. He says that it would be too cumbersome to do so and instead gives some organizations, mainly Catholic, that have collected the data that he has relied on. On a positive ...more
Kasey Cocoa
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-requested
While I will say the author made some valid and important points, he also made a few errors and clearly comes from a very conservative Catholic viewpoint and needs lessons in how to write an engaging novel. There are several reasons, as I read over this book, that I couldn't help but doubt his "facts". The whole thing is poorly presented, shifts in mid paragraph, sections misplaced and entirely too rambling in parts. The third chapter was the only interesting one to read. I agree this is a topic ...more
Jacob O'connor
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wake-up call. Every five minutes a Christian dies in the Middle East. Every hour 11 Christians are martyred somewhere in the world. Every year, 100,000 Christians die for their faith. These are staggering statistics, and I'm sure they're vulnerable to challenge. Even if they're only half true, this is alarming. Allen admonishes a more global outlook. This is an indictment on the American church, and it's an indictment on me. Paul teaches the church is one body. This is a very intimate analogy, ...more
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a hard hitting, eye opening book that I highly recommend to anyone who thinks that the persecution of Christians is a thing of the past. This is no a good, comfortable read, but is rather a great, eye opening, make-you-feel-uncomfortable kind of book.
Too many people think that persecution of Christians is something that is not our world today, but as author John Allen points out that is a misnomer and there is a whole lot more persecution going on than just in Muslim countries but it
Jason Lewis
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-won
A tough book but it goes into plenty of examples defending the notion that Christianity is not always the religion that has pulled away injury-free in many cases. He takes the argument on by showcasing its many troughs that it has to go through in much of the world where it is the minority against mainly the public or governmental sector, sometimes taking the beliefs to the death. Can be difficult to read because of how depressing and the number of stories and examples used to defend the notion, ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We Christians here in the U. S. tend to ignore what is happening to Christians across the globe because we have not experienced that kind of persecution here. Allen goes through territory by territory telling stories of those persecuted. He ends his book with practical ideas for us to share in our responsibility to other Christians - from prayer to advocacy. This is a hard book to read but one every Christian should. See my full review at
Mike Lutz
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on an important (if depressing) issue. It's all too easy to get worked up over Western culture wars - and certainly there's a place for that - while missing the big picture of the persecution of Christians world wide. And while Africa and the Middle East receive due attention, Allen shows the problem extends way beyond the well-known hot spots. Strongly recommended.
This is a helpful book in trying to get a handle on the world's on-going religious strife. While not necessarily exhaustive and sometimes a little overblown, it also does a valiant job of turning the lights on corners of those who still die in witness (often consciously) of their religion. And the numbers of victims should still shock.
Beth A
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Shocking, disturbing, enlightening and informative. John Allen is a great writer....and I've heard him speak too. I could hear him as I read this book. Highly recommended. Now I have to figure out what I can do to stop persecution of Christians. Imagine no Christians left in the Holy Land? That is not outside the realm of possibilities.
Brent Harris
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A staggering review of the current climate of global Christianity from an author and journalist reluctant to the hype of what some have called one of the greatest times of persecution for the global church. His title shows us that through his rigorous research and engagement that He was forced to call a spade a spade.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just read Elizabeth Scalia's review ( today and am declaring this a must-read. John Allen's writing is always top-notch, and this looks like no exception.
Kimberly Arend
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Won this book in a goodreads giveaway. Very thoroughly researched!! Very impressively written!! Thought provoking
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Eye opening and quite depressing. Everyone should read this.
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John L. Allen, Jr. (born 1965) is an American journalist serving as associate editor of the website Crux: Covering all things Catholic, specializing in news about the Catholic Church in partnership with the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus.
“Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often their new martyrs suffer in silence.” 0 likes
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