By Hugh McLeod
The 20th century observed alterations as dramatic as any in Christian background. The church buildings suffered severe losses, either via persecution and during secularization, in what were for a number of centuries their ecu heartlands, yet grew quick in Africa and elements of Asia. This quantity offers a entire background of Catholicism, Protestantism and the autonomous church buildings in all elements of the area within the century while Christianity really grew to become a world faith. Written through a robust crew of experts from many alternative international locations, the amount is large in scope.
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Extra resources for The Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 9, World Christianities c.1914-c.2000
There is now no gambling amongst us, no drink, no murder. ’19 So, in spite of much that Christians in different parts of the world and in different parts of the same country shared, the meanings of being a Christian also varied radically. In the course of the twentieth century these meanings would often change again. In some parts of the world periods of severe persecution would alternate with periods of optimism, or even triumphalism. Some areas would see the gradual decline of a once powerful Christian culture, and in others Christianity would advance from marginality to dominance.
Since the 1970s the most common charges have been that it has been involved in the oppression of women or of sexual minorities. In Asia and Africa, opponents of Christianity have focused mainly on claims that Christianity is an alien import or an arm of Western imperialism (claims which, as Chandra Mallampalli shows in chapter 23, are bitterly resented by Indian Christians, with their nearly two-thousand-years-long history). 9 This claim was made in a radio broadcast in 1995 by Richard Dawkins, Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, and Britain’s best-known atheist, prompting the sociologist David Martin to attempt a more sophisticated analysis of the issue in Does Christianity cause war?
In temperament, his dictatorial personality was more akin to that of Pius X than to Benedict’s. 12 Fascism claimed to have saved Italy from communism, restored political stability of a sort after the chronic instability of parliamentary government in the post-war period, and ultimately delivered a solution to the ‘Roman Question’. In his policies towards the Catholic Italian People’s Party on the one hand and fascism on the other, Papa Ratti revealed a deep-seated mistrust of liberal democracy, and of Catholic participation in politics.