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Christianity teaches violence and intolerance. True or false?

Recently an Iranian convert to Christianity appealed to the U.K. for religious asylum because he feared persecution.  The Home Office, which handles such cases, questioned his story by quoting several verses from Exodus, Leviticus, and Revelations.  “These examples,” he was told, “are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful religion’ as opposed to Islam, which contained violence and rage.”

When the incident became public, the Anglican Bishop of Durham slammed the statement for biblical illiteracy and remarked, “To use extracts from the Book of Revelation to argue that Christianity is a violent religion is like arguing that a Government report on the impact of Climate Change is advocating drought and flooding.”

True.  But if I were a biblically illiterate Home Office official, I would want to know how I went wrong.  Why shouldn’t I have said what I said?  Being a Christian, I want biblically illiterate officials to know too.  The U.K. Home Office backed down, but next time it might not.  If our own illiterates have their way, the U.S. is next.

It would take a long time to cover all the ins and outs of biblical interpretation.  Besides, Holy Scripture is interpreted by Sacred Tradition.  So let us consider what the Church herself has taught from earliest times.

Contrary to secularist clichés, the Fathers of the Church pioneered the doctrine of religious toleration.  And yes, they did this not only while the Roman Empire was persecuting them, but also afterward.

Read more at Mercatornet. 

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