Nazis and Christianity: the real story
There's been a lot of talk in the press lately about how Osama bin Laden is as separate from Islam as Adolf Hitler was from Christianity. And every once in a while, you'll come across someone talking about Hitler's Christianity. Fortunately, the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion has come along to irrefutably correct these dumb comments. The journal is posting on its Web site previously unpublished documents from the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal—starting with a 120-page report, "The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches" (PDF format).

"Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion," the OSS said in 1945, according to the report (which was prepared by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, a precursor of the CIA).

Nuremberg Project editor Julie Seltzer Mandel tells The Philadelphia Inquirer, "A lot of people will say, 'I didn't realize that they were trying to convert Christians to a Nazi philosophy.' … They wanted to eliminate the Jews altogether, but they were also looking to eliminate Christianity."

Persecution in China "The kind of defiant and violent antagonism to the West that we now associate with Islamists was for centuries linked instead to places like Japan, Korea and China," Nicholas D. Kristof reminded readers in yesterday's New York Times. East Asia has been particularly harsh to Christians, torturing missionaries and burning converts alive, he notes. But the antagonism wasn't really about religion. "Rather, it was about social conservatives trying to protect their way of life from a Western ...

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