International Institute for Religious Freedom

Re-Examining Religious Persecution

Religious Freedom Series Vol 1: Charles L. Tieszen: Re-Examining Religious Persecution – Constructing a Theological Framework for Understanding Persecution. VKW: Bonn, 2011. 96 pp. ISBN: 978-3-93811-655-5. 12 Euro.


While many have written about religious violence and persecution, Charles Tieszen here refocuses on some basic definitions and theological reflections. He deftly offers several key insights including the fact that persecution is universal in the Christian life and should be expected. He proposes a more nuanced definition of persecution, illustrating how it differs from suffering. He shows that persecution is normally the result of a complex combination of factors. And he correctly points out the need for Christians to be more reflective about the role of persecution, both in their own lives and around the world.