Across the world today, countless millions of people are persecuted. But churchgoers in Britain are not among them, says Simon Barrow. Instead of developing a misplaced 'persecution complex', which dishonours those who truly suffer, Christians in the UK have the opportunity to develop an alternative vocation of multiplying hope, rather than spreading fear.
The problem for Christians today is not primarily 'aggressive secularism', but the confusion of Christianity with power, says Simon Barrow. That and the the distortion of public debate about religiosity and secularity into a false dichotomy between dominating belief or privatised belief. A better way is needed - based on living by example, not the lust for control.
Some American Christians are claiming that they are persecuted by 'the secular left' and other 'self-described' Christians, writes Martin Marty. There are real issues about how particular faiths should relate in a crowded and tense world; but they will not be resolved by over-heated rhetoric, or by confusing disagreements in plural societies with the suffering and even death faced by minorities in other parts of the world.
Some Christians are crying 'persecution' when conflicts over belief arise in public life, says Jonathan Bartley. The way to halt this juggernaut of paranoia is to bring a lot more mediatory light, and far less antagonistic heat to the situations involved.