Christians dating online

In part, it is because our intelligentsia are locked into old ways of thinking about Christianity as the dominant force in Western historic hegemony.The church has not helped in this, with its fixation on pious religiosity and on cultural issues that it falsely regards as totemic – issues such as gay marriage and women bishops.In the UK, it is socially respectable among the secular elite to regard Christianity as weird and permissible to bully its followers a little.

But it has been a different story for the 3,000 Christians of Mosul who were driven from their homes in northern Iraq last week by Islamist fanatics who broadcast a fatwa from the loudspeakers of the city's mosques ordering them to convert to Islam, submit to its rule and pay a religious levy, or be put to death if they stayed.

America's most prominent religious journalist, John L Allen Jnr, has just published The Global War on Christians.

The former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks told the House of Lords recently that the suffering of Middle East Christians is "one of the crimes against humanity of our time".

Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004.

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A few voices have been raised in the West about all this.

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