Guest / Limited Access /
Why the World Is Becoming More Violent
Image: Marcus Bleasdale / VII

In a late February, predawn raid in Buni Yadi, a town in northeast Nigeria, Islamic militants locked the doors of a boys' dormitory and set it on fire. At least 59 students perished in the flames. The militants were linked to Boko Haram, a terrorist group that seeks to establish an Islamic state in Yobe, Nigeria.

The mainstream media cover these kinds of horrific attacks, which are often motivated by simmering religious hostility, according to recent data from the Pew Research Center. But rarely do media cover the larger, global story of religious intolerance.

That's the challenge that Rodney Stark, professor of social sciences and codirector of the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) at Baylor University, and Katie E. Corcoran (an ISR postdoctoral fellow) took on in their new book, Religious Hostility: A Global Assessment of Hatred and Terror. They found that one critical difference between conflicts of the distant past and today is that national armies once fought wars on religious grounds, whereas today, militant civilians—not soldiers—are the main combatants. Daniel Philpott, professor at the University of Notre Dame and author of Just and Unjust Peace, interviewed Stark, best known among CT readers for his research on the early church and the Crusades.

Why do we need another book on religious persecution and intolerance?

Much of what has been written about terrorism and the Middle East simply isn't true. There was the recent, widely publicized claim of 100,000 Christians a year dying for their faith. That's pretty stunning. When I found out how that 100,000 number was calculated, I realized it was absurd. More likely, the number was less than 7,000 a year.

Another reason ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedIs This the End for Mideast Christianity?
Subscriber Access Only Is This the End for Mideast Christianity?
For Mideast Christians, 2014 has been a year of bloody disaster. Are these churches on the edge of extinction?
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickA Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
The grand jury has made a decision in Ferguson, now we have to make ours. How will we respond?
Comments
Christianity Today
Why the World Is Becoming More Violent
hide thisApril April

In the Magazine

April 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.