Under Caesar's Sword

Under Caesar’s Sword: Christian Response to Persecution

Under Caesar's Sword

Global research on Christian survival strategies

Three academic institutions joined to find out which Christians are the most persecuted around the world and the way they respond to threats[/tweetit]. The three-Religious Freedom Institute, Georgetown University and University of Notre Dame- collaborated on the Religious Freedom Project. They conducted the world's first formal global investigation of persecution of Christians and their response, termed 'Under Caesar's Sword.’ The Templeton Religion Trust provided the required funds.

Under Caesar’s Sword: Christian Response to Persecution[/tweetthis]

The Under Caesar's Sword project took three years to complete. A total of 14 scholars analyzed 30 countries scattered all over the globe to come at conclusions. Religious persecution patterns were minutely examined, the kinds of responses towards persecution were noted down, and recommendations were made for taking action against persecution.

The findings of the study include that Christian communities generally adopt a number of survival strategies. These strategies frequently involve creativity, courage along with determination. The list of techniques used include flight or going underground. Some even adjusts under repressive regimes. The second frequent response is strategy of association. In such cases, Christian communities want to secure religious freedom through the development of ties with a number of other factors. These includes, non-Christian religious people, other Christian communities and any number of secular figures.

The least common strategy is confrontation. This is done only to expose and end the injustice. Christians adopting this method mobilized others so that injustice can be opposed. Religious freedom is the preferred outcome of such a struggle. It is observed that the response of Christians towards persecution are almost always non-violent. Terrorism is almost absent with a few exceptions. Christian theology influences such actions.

The important findings of the study were made into an educational course presently available online for free. Aspiring students will have to go through STEP or Satellite Theological Education Program delivered at University of Notre Dame. The first program is named Christians Confronting Persecution. The intended audience for this study includes educators, pastors and ministers. Adults interested in knowing more about Christian persecution could also join. It is a six-week long course.

The second program was named We Respond. It is a lecture series composed of a total of seven sessions. This is ideal for churches, adult groups, parishes and high school students. It would suit people who want to engage both reflectively and intellectually with religious persecution at the present time.


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