Contemporary Thinking on Conversion and Persecution: A Survey of Recent Missiological Compendia

In: Mission Studies
Author: Christof Sauer1
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  • 1 Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven, Belgium

Abstract

This essay surveys the state of research regarding the ample relations between conversion and persecution as reflected in two recent missiological collections of essays, namely Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission (2015), and Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom (2012). The systematic categories emanate from examining conversion as a human right in the framework of freedom of religion or belief, with the guidance of the un Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. The essay covers missiological reflection on the right to convert; not to be forced to convert; and to try to convert others by means of non-coercive persuasion. It also discovers a lack of reflection on the rights of the child and of his or her parents in this regard. This is done against the background of the challenges to the enjoyment of these rights in various contexts and from multiple parties, often taking the form of harassment, discrimination or persecution. It becomes evident that a Christian theological and missiological perspective adds important further considerations to the human rights perspective on conversion and religious freedom or persecution.

Abstract

This essay surveys the state of research regarding the ample relations between conversion and persecution as reflected in two recent missiological collections of essays, namely Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission (2015), and Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom (2012). The systematic categories emanate from examining conversion as a human right in the framework of freedom of religion or belief, with the guidance of the un Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. The essay covers missiological reflection on the right to convert; not to be forced to convert; and to try to convert others by means of non-coercive persuasion. It also discovers a lack of reflection on the rights of the child and of his or her parents in this regard. This is done against the background of the challenges to the enjoyment of these rights in various contexts and from multiple parties, often taking the form of harassment, discrimination or persecution. It becomes evident that a Christian theological and missiological perspective adds important further considerations to the human rights perspective on conversion and religious freedom or persecution.

The fact that people are turning to Christ and away from their previous worldviews seems to be a major cause for backlashes against these individuals and Christian communities by their communities of origin. This article surveys the state of research regarding the relation between conversion and persecution as reflected in recent missiological collections of essays. The examination focuses on two major and leading volumes, namely Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission (2015) in the Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series, and Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom (Gravaas, Sauer, Engelsviken, Kamil, and Jørgensen 2012). They have different emphases. The first is a collection of substantial scholarly essays, and the author is one of the editors and a contributor. The second is a handbook for missionary training with relatively short but nonetheless substantial contributions. The author was an advisor of the editors and is one of the contributors.

The systematic categories for structuring the survey are taken from the foundational legal framework and philosophical reflections on the human right of freedom of religion or belief as expounded by a leading authority on the matter, the former un Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Prof. Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt (2017:108–132).1

Conversion as a Human Right in the Framework of Freedom of Religion or Belief

The right to conversion is an integral aspect of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief within the human rights framework. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights spells out in Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief …”.2

The former un Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, has pointed out in a systematic overview that at least four subcategories of the right to conversion need to be considered: “(a) the right to conversion (in the sense of changing one’s own religion or belief); (b) the right not to be forced to convert; (c) the right to try to convert others by means of non-coercive persuasion; and (d) the rights of the child and of his or her parents in this regard” (Bielefeldt 2017:109). These rights are closely interlinked, but also need to be distinguished, as they enjoy different degrees of protection.

In the same report before the United Nations, Bielefeldt (2017:117–126) deplores in much detail that each of these aspects is facing serious and frequent violations and challenges in many ways (also see Bielefeldt, Ghanea, Weiner 2016:58–62).

In this article the above categories are used as a fourfold heuristic grid. They are applied to the Christian missiological reflection provided in the above compendia on the interrelation between two phenomena, namely the phenomena surrounding conversion on the one hand and restrictions or violations of religious freedom, discrimination, harassment, marginalization, persecution, martyrdom, or any other form of suffering for Christ on the other hand. Each of the following sections will start with an exposition of the human rights framework, before entering into an examination of the voices represented in the two missiological compendia.

The Right to Convert and Its Challenges

“The freedom ‘to have or to adopt’ a religion or belief necessarily entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one’s current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views, as well as to retain one’s religion or belief”. Furthermore, “the right to conversion has the rank of an absolutely protected right within freedom of religion or belief and does not permit any limitations or restrictions for any reason.” (Bielefeldt 2017:111).

According to the Special Rapporteur, states therefore should respect everyone’s right to conversion (abolishing punishments against converts and removing administrative obstacles), protect it against possible third-party infringements (violence or harassment), and “promote a societal climate in which converts can generally live without fear and free from discrimination” (Bielefeldt 2017:111).

Now turning to the missiological compendia, Tieszen (2012:46) makes the important observation that some types of hostility which people experience for their conversion to Christ do not constitute persecution according to a socio-political human rights perspective, as they do not violate international standards (e.g. if no physical attack is involved) and do not represent systematic violations of religious freedom. However in a theological sense, acts such as ostracism from the community and disinheritance by the family do constitute persecution as an expected consequence of following Christ and require a response from the church in support of the Christian victim and appropriate theological reflection.

When looking at a typology of conversion from a Christian missiological perspective one could distinguish between conversion to Christ, conversion between different formations of Christianity, and conversion away from Christian faith. All aspects have been found in the sources, but the most frequent focus was on conversion to Christ.

Foundational Reflections on Conversion to Christ

The missiological reference works contain several foundational reflections on the interrelation between conversion to Christ and persecution. Reflecting about the theology of martyrdom, Sauer and Handayani (2015:49) remind us: “The goal of mission is not only the conversion of individual people … but the glorification of God in and through these”. As human history is embroiled in a cosmic conflict on who gets the glory, conversion is among “deeply spiritual reasons for the persecution and martyrdom of Christians” (2015:56). In the same vein, Nordlander (2015:63) reminds readers of the expectation in the book of Revelation of a “universal conversion of the nations and of a universal enmity towards God”. In this final battle the church’s witness in martyrdom wins the nations for God.

Werner (2015:111), as well as Troll and Schirrmacher (2015:149–166), present the Christian consensus reflected in the document “Christian witness in a multi-religious world”: Christians affirm that, “conversion is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:7–9; Acts 10:44–47). They recognize that the Spirit blows where the Spirit wills in ways over which no human being has control (cf. John 3:8).” This moves conversion beyond a mere human right to a divine right of intervention into human lives.

Empirical observation of contemporary conversion suggests according to Veerman (2015:145) that converts are usually the one subgroup among Christians that faces most persecution. This also includes defectors who leave the ranks of a criminal organization. Conversion to Christianity often is unacceptable to dominating religious or ideological groups.

Conversion to Christ in Various Contexts

The exploration of the specific scenarios in various cultural and religious contexts and different countries is the most common category of reflection about the contemporary or historical interrelation between conversion to Christ and persecution.

Josua (2015:208) deals at length with the situation of “Muslims who demand to become Christians following their own convictions” in the Middle East. Their existence leads to problems for those churches who are the historical Christian addressees of Muslim governments. It leads to tensions between older churches which have secured their survival and privileges by a renouncement of outward witness towards Muslims and movements within such churches or younger churches whose active witness is seen as encouraging conversion. Therefore in Josua’s opinion “the Oriental churches have to redefine their role in mission among Muslims”. In Christian-Muslim dialogue, according to Josua, “an affirmation of conversion is a touchstone for a real and honest dialogue” (2015:209).

Regarding the role of government and society, Josua (2015:209–211) critiques current practice:

Converts from Christianity to Islam are celebrated and viewed as proof of the superiority of Islam. But converts from Islam to Christianity cause hysterical reactions … The classification of apostates as traitors is unacceptable … In some countries, such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, not only blasphemy but also conversion automatically entails capital punishment.

In Middle Eastern countries “Muslims who become Christians are as a matter of principle unable to register their new religious denomination on their identification papers” (cf. Andrews 2015).

Dan Sered and Yoel Ben-David (2015:214–226) spell out in more detail why converts in the Palestinian Areas are not safe, and how the existence of Messianic Jews in Israel leads to challenges similar to those of converts from Islam in Muslim-dominated countries. An anonymous pastor from Egypt (2012:180–81) describes the response of the majority community to converts by giving two moving case studies of two converts in the Middle East one of whom was murdered and the other suffered imprisonment and was subjected to inhumane torture. Madrigal (2012:153) vividly describes the public perceptions of converts to Christianity in Turkey from the 1980s as a threat and products of proselytizers who are seen as “public enemy number one” “deceiving young misfits”, creating an atmosphere of hostility. In China, according to Chan (2015:291), the right to conversion is more strongly safeguarded for ethnic minorities than for the Han majority, due to separate policies. “Also, Christian conversion among these people is often of a communal rather than an individual nature. Therefore it is not uncommon for entire villages to become Christian.”

The Right Not to Be Forced to Convert and Its Challenges

Bielefeldt (2017:111) explains: “The right not to be forced to convert also falls within the ambit of the forum internum, which has the status of absolute protection. In a sense, it is already implied in the right to conversion itself which, as a right to freedom, necessarily means voluntary, namely, non-coerced conversion.” This entails specific obligations of states to guarantee everyone’s protection against possible coercion to convert or reconvert to a religion or belief against their will. Of particular importance is the protection of most vulnerable people, which includes minors in schools, patients in hospital, or victims of humanitarian emergencies and other captive audiences, such as inmates in prisons and other institutions, or recipients of orders from higher authority, such as in the military.

Looking at the missiological compendia, from a Christian theological perspective Schirrmacher and Howell (2015:23) assert: “All Christian confessions agree that a conversion has to be deeply personal, ultimately a considered move of the heart. A forced conversion is not something we want and not something we can accept. A forced conversion is no conversion at all because it does not create faith and trust in God”.

Aspects in Christian History

Concerning conversion away from Christianity under Islamic pressure, Jørgensen (2015:121) presents the observation of Jenkins that mass conversion occurred in surges and coincided especially with social upheavals. While Eshete (2015:258) reports how the Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches in Ethiopia have experienced revival and growth in the context of the Marxist Revolution and the turbulent regime change in 1991, Hulsman and Atallah (2015:171) to the contrary describe a massive decline of Christianity in Egypt over the course of centuries in the context of varying degrees of pressure to convert to Islam. Their observation that contemporary allegations of forced conversion of Christians to Islam might also be attributed to the desire of avoiding shame by blaming others (2015:176), might also be transferable to other strongly shame oriented cultures.

Contemporary Coercion to Make Christian Minorities Abandon the Christian Faith

Reimer (2012:26), in exploring Christian responses to persecution, deals with forced recantation of one’s faith: “Persecutors sometimes offer a way of escape in trying to persuade or force Christians to recant their faith.” The position of those who succumb to this pressure but remain secret believers or later regret their decision poses serious theological and pastoral problems to the church. While ceasing to practice the Christian faith cannot be condoned from a theological perspective, Reimer discusses the legitimate option of fleeing persecution to escape the pressure.

Anti-conversion laws have a long history in some states of India and try to protect Hindu hegemony according to Arles (2015:323). Christian missionary activity and large-scale conversions to Islam and Christianity were and are considered a threat to Indian unity. Conversion is routinely alleged to be connected with coercion or “force”, “fraudulent means”, and “allurement”, which are criminalized. While Christians would be very seldom guilty of offenses, they are often harassed with such accusations and hindered in their activities. However, such laws are not applied to Hindu efforts that use the means criticized:

Under the patronage of bjp and Prime Minister Modi, the rss and vhp, along with multiple militant structures, have taken up the cause of the Hindu imposition of cultural nationalism, moral policing, attacks on churches and the demand of the reconversion of Muslim and Christian minorities, particularly in the tribal and dalit communities.

Arles, 2015:326

In Burma, Storaker (2015:339) reports, the previous regime had been actively engaged, especially in Chin and Kachin tribal minority states, “in trying to convert Christians to Buddhism, by force or by offering incentives such as money, protection, education or work”. The Buddhist nationalist movement is the driving force behind a recent set of four laws politicizing different aspects of religion, such as restricting conversion (2015:341).

In Indonesia, the religious freedom record has evolved positively over a period, and the number of incidents is relatively small for such a populous and diverse nation. Hammond (2015:353) refers back to incidents in the year 2000 on the island of Lata-lata, South Halmahera, where a pastor and four church members were beheaded, a total of 80 killed, and the entire community forcibly converted and mass circumcised, overseen by Indonesian military, police and government officials working in conjunction with jihad militias.

Contemporary Coercion to Make Converts to Christ Revert to their Prior Allegiance

Vysotskaya (2015:316) observes in Central Asia, “when an ethnic person becomes a Christian, it is a matter of shame for the whole family, and he (or she) will face tremendous pressure from the family and the local Muslim community to return to Islam.” Many ethnic Christians had to face persecution from the first days of their conversion (2015:316).

Discussing solidarity with the persecuted, Sauer (2015:461) discusses a particular complexity that arises when asylum seekers claim religious persecution or the fear thereof as grounds of asylum. The cases become even more complicated if the conversion only takes place in the country of refuge.

In asylum procedures, administrations usually require that credible evidence for a case of (religious) persecution be provided. In view of the great variety of motives for conversion, local churches should allow these converts to prove their faith, and also, in due course, to overcome inappropriate motives. This puts the churches in a good position to reject, with authority, possible demands by asylum authorities for exorbitant measures of proof of the genuineness of such conversions.

The Right to Try to Convert Others by Means of Non-coercive Persuasion and Its Challenges

Mission as a Human Right

From a human rights perspective it first of all needs to be emphasized that “to manifest” one’s faith is an integral part of freedom of religion or belief (Bielefeldt 2017:121). This includes the non-coercive persuasion and peaceful propagation of one’s convictions and the respectful invitation to others to consider its claims. Therefore one can rightly emphasize that Christian mission also falls within this protected human right. However other than the matters of the heart (forum internum), which are unconditionally protected and inalienable, public manifestation of faith (forum externum) is limited by the rights of others and can under exceptional circumstances be limited. Such exceptions and limitations are exhaustively and very narrowly defined and their application must be lawful, justified, proportionate and non-discriminatory. This notwithstanding, there is no right to be left alone, or not to be confronted by religious claims of others.

Ethics of Mission

Looking at the missiological compendia, from a Christian theological perspective the question arises, however, how Christians should practice their witness and how they should go about inviting others to change their faith allegiance. Schirrmacher and Howell (2015:26) elaborate in detail about the historical ecumenical consensus reached in the document “Christian witness in a multi-religious world”. Christians have bound themselves to an ethics standard when they engage in non-coercive persuasion: “It is reprehensible to bring about conversions through the use of coercion, deceitfulness, trickery or bribery, not to mention that, by definition, the results of such cannot be a true conversion and turning towards God from the depths of one’s heart in belief and trust.” This theologically motivated position concurs with the caveat in the human rights defense of the right to non-coercive persuasion, which rightly points to the rights of others that must not be infringed.

Josua (2015:208) highlights another issue, when referring to tensions arising among Christian traditions because of missionary activity and resulting conversions in Muslim majority contexts. Older Christian traditions which have secured their survival over centuries by conceding to the demands of the majority community not to manifest their faith publicly, and certainly not confront the majority community with any of their truth claims, are upset when they see their toleration at stake when younger Christian traditions more overtly witness to their faith and some of their members are not shy to invite Muslims to consider the claims of Christ.

In a completely different setting, Chan (2015:293) observes that discrimination, pressure or persecution are not always and not necessarily inhibitors of conversion. The “Christian phenomenon in China suggests that, despite the severe constraints that Christianity has experienced, it has one of the fastest growth rates in recent years – at least a twenty-fold increase in thirty years without any public evangelistic campaigns.”

The Rights of the Child and of His or Her Parents in This Regard

Looking at international human rights norms (Bielefeldt 2017:115–116), in article 18 (4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, states undertake “to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions”. At the same time, the Convention on the Rights of the Child recalls that parents’ rights must always be seen in conjunction with the human rights of the child. This includes the requirement to take into account the evolving capacities of the child. Article 12 (1) of the Convention provides that the views of the child have to be given “due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”. When convictions of the parents about religious or belief matters differ, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

The un Special Rapporteur emphasizes:

These provisions also apply to the right of conversion and its correlate, namely, the right not to be forced to convert or reconvert. Converts have the right for their new religious or belief affiliation to be respected in the religious upbringing of their children, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child. Any attempts, especially by the State or in State institutions, to alienate the children of converts from their family in religious or belief-related questions – for instance, by stipulating that children of converts must receive religious instruction in schools that goes against their will or the will of their parents – would thus infringe upon freedom of religion or belief and disregard the best interests of the child.

Bielefeldt 2017:116

However, the Special Rapporteur deplores that he has “received reports of repressive measures targeting children of converts or members of religious minorities, including with the purpose of exercising pressure on them and their parents to reconvert to their previous religion or to coerce members of minorities to convert to more socially “accepted” religions or beliefs” (Bielefeldt 2017:128). This aspect of parents and children’s rights in the interrelation between conversion and religious freedom or persecution has not been sufficiently covered in the two missiological compendia examined.

Conclusions

The survey has clearly shown that there is ample evidence of the multiple relationship between conversion and religious freedom or persecution. The systematic categories from a philosophical perspective on human rights provided a helpful grid to explore the topic. At the same time it became very evident that from a Christian theological and missiological perspective important further aspects and considerations on the interrelation between conversion and religious freedom and persecution must be considered.

References Cited

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1

Since the presentation of this paper, an additional and more exhaustive treatment of this framework has been provided in the International Law Commentary by Bielefeldt, Ghanea and Wiener (2016:55–74).

2

For further international standards, see Bielefeldt, Ghanea and Wiener (2016:55).

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    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Andrews, Jonathan (2015). Identity Crisis: Religious Registration in the Middle East. Malton, North Yorkshire: Gilead.

  • Arles, Siga (2015). “India: Religious Polarisation in a Hindu Context.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 320330.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bielefeldt, Heiner, Nazila Ghanea, and Michael Wiener (2016), Freedom of Religion or Belief: An International Law Commentary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bielefeldt, Heiner (2017), Freedom of Religion or Belief: Thematic Reports of the UN Special Rapporteur 2010–2016, 2nd edition, Bonn: VKW Culture and Science Publishers.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chan, Kim-kwong (2015). “Religious Freedom and Christian Mission: People’s Republic of China.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 283294.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eshete, Tibebe (2015). “Marxism and Religion: The Paradox of Church Growth in Ethiopia, 1974–1991.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 242258.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gravaas, Hans Aage, Christof Sauer, Tormod Engelsviken, Maqsood Kamil, and Knud Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books.

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  • Hammond, Jeff (2015). “Religious Freedom in Indonesia, the World’s Most Populous Muslim State.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 344355.

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  • Hulsman, Cornelis and Ramez Atallah (2015). “Egypt – the Church under Pressure.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 167180.

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  • Josua, Hanna (2015). “The Middle East: A Region without a Christian Future?” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 190213.

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  • Jørgensen, Knut (2015). “Christians in a Minority Situation.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 114126.

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  • Madrigal, Carlos (2012). “From Asia Minor to Modern Turkey.” In W.D. Taylor, A. van der Meer, and R. Reimer, eds, Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library: 147158.

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  • Nordlander, Agne (2015). “A Theology of Martyrdom.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 5866.

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  • Reimer, Reg (2012). “Christian Responses to Persecution and Martyrdom.” In W.D. Taylor, A. van der Meer, and R. Reimer, eds, Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library: 2330.

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  • Sauer, Christof (2015). “Christian Solidarity in the Face of Discrimination and Persecution.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 452465.

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  • Sauer, Christof and Dwi Maria Handayani (2015). “A Doxological Framework for Interpreting Discrimination, Persecution and Martyrdom.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 4757.

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  • Schirrmacher, Thomas and Richard Howell (2015). “Freedom of Religion or Belief from a Biblical Perspective.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 1829.

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  • Sered, Dan and Yoel Ben-David (2015). “Case Study: Israel and Messianic Jews.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 214226.

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  • Storaker, Kristin (2015). “Mission and Persecution – Parallel Stories: The State of Religious Minorities in Burma.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 331343.

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  • Taylor, W.D., A. van der Meer, and R. Reimer, eds. (2012). Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

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  • Tieszen, Charles L. (2012). “Redefining Persecution.” In W.D. Taylor, A. van der Meer, and R. Reimer, eds, Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library: 4349.

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  • Troll, Christian and Thomas Schirrmacher (2015), “Mission and Ethics of Mission 2014.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 149166.

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  • Veerman, Frans (2015). “Religious Persecution and Violence in the 21st Century: A Global Survey Based on the World Watch List.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 127148.

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  • Vysotsakaya, Anneta (2015). “Is the Silk Road still Open? Central Asia: Christian Mission under Growing Restrictions on Religious Freedom.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 309319.

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  • Werner, Dietrich (2015), “Mission, Human Rights and Religious Freedom – A Relationship of Light and Shadow: Historical, Ecumenical and Interreligious Perspectives.” In H.A. Gravaas, C. Sauer, T. Engelsviken, M. Kamil, and K. Jørgensen, eds. (2015). Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission. Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 28. Oxford: Regnum Books: 93113.

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