In a recent FrontPage Mag article, Shillman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim noted that a new study found that more than half (54%) of the Americans surveyed believe religious freedom is eroding in the United States, and an even larger number (59%) believe that the treatment of Christians and intolerance for their beliefs are getting worse. This echoes the warnings of journalist Rod Dreher, author of Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, who insists that the “soft totalitarianism” already here in America will inevitably lead to increasingly harsh persecution of the Christian community. That community, Dreher urges, needs to prepare itself accordingly, even for the possibility of martyrdom.
Unfortunately, many Christians in America suffer from an “it couldn’t happen here” naiveté and the sort of complacency that generally afflicts the affluent, free West. Too many of us are unaware – because the overwhelmingly secular mainstream media largely ignores this crisis – that Christianity is the most-persecuted religion worldwide. The shocking reality for Christians in regions where the powers-that-be are violently hostile to them should not only galvanize us into taking action to help those victims, but also wake us up to the growing threat here at home. It must be stressed that this is an issue that impacts all of us who value the right of religious freedom, not just Christian believers.
To gain an eye-opening understanding of the dire circumstances for Christians around the world, the Family Research Council has released a necessary new book by my friend Lela Gilbert, Arielle Del Turco, and retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin titled Heroic Faith: Hope Amid Global Persecution.
Lela Gilbert is a prolific and award-winning writer who has authored or co-authored more than sixty books, including the critically-acclaimed Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner, which was listed as one of the 20 best non-fiction Jewish books of 2012, and more recently, Baroness Cox, Eyewitness to a Broken World, released in November 2021. She serves as Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom at Family Research Council and as a Fellow at the Hudson Institute, working with the Center for Religious Freedom. She writes for Newsweek, Jerusalem Post, Fox News, and elsewhere.
I posed some questions to Lela about the new book.