Recent press accounts of atrocities against Christians in the Muslim world too often point to mutual blame between the parties. In this issue, Nina Shea sets the record straight. Nina Shea, whom Christianity Today called “The Daniel of Religious Rights,” has committed her life to fighting for religious and political freedom across the globe. In this interview, Ms. Shea pays tribute to the ten-year anniversary of the demise of communism in Eastern Europe, an uprising that started in the fall of 1989. She also makes important connections between the persecution many suffer today and the long twilight struggle for freedom behind the Iron Curtain and in the former Soviet Union. Her work is immensely important, and we are fortunate and humbled for this opportunity to raise awareness of all she is doing for the sake of freedom.
Managing editor Ray Nothstine has contributed a book review, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South, an examination of the political force of the greatest American evangelist of the twentieth century. Author Steven P. Miller argues that Graham played a pivotal role in reshaping the political landscape of the American South.
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, D.C., is a leader in the long struggle to rescue the social witness of mainline protestant churches. In his feature piece, “Not Celebrating Communism’s Collapse,” Tooley looks back at the moral failings of the religious left during the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. He reminds us that, “The religious left has learned very little, as it continues to apologize for remaining Marxist regimes in North Korea and Cuba.”
“Repressions” is a series of voices that witness against the evils of Marxist and fascist rule and thought. Marxism, of course, was especially harsh to people of faith because they refused to offer their whole life and soul to its method and ideology. The late Richard Wurmbrand, Lutheran pastor and founder of Voice of the Martyrs, said this about Marxist-atheism in his landmark account Tortured for Christ: “They knew if a man believed in Christ he would never be a mindless, willing subject. They knew they could imprison men, but they couldn’t imprison faith in God. And so they fought very hard.”
This issue’s “In the Liberal Tradition” is a tribute to Francis Schaeffer, American Christian theologian, philosopher, and minister. Along with C.S. Lewis, perhaps no other Christian has had the kind of monumental impact on the thinking of twentieth century Christians. He challenged secular humanism at its very core, defending and lifting high the banner of Christ.