Religious Persecution Abroad
America exports its culture wars when it comes to international bodies such as the UN or NATO. Biblical fundamentalists see the UN as the harbinger of a "one world government", a sure sign of the end times.
However, many of this country's religious conservatives oppose the UN because they see its conferences and declarations as extra-constitutional attempts to rule the people of the United States. Whether one sees this country as a "Christian Nation" or not, they argue, membership in such international bodies is not in the interest of a United States that wishes for self rule.
On the other side, liberals think that all this worrying about the UN is nothing more than common paranoia, and that the shoddy American treatment of the UN embarrasses our country before the world. Why not head to the United Nations Website right now and see how safe you feel with these folks?
The World Food and Population Summit: The UN Makes Another Grab For Power (Concerned Women For America)
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Treaty to Undermine the Family (Concerned Women for America)
Some Goals of the New World Order (The Eagle Forum)
Exposing CEDAW: The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Concerned Women for America)
For many Christians, religious persecution did not end with the Roman emperor Constantine's Edict of Milan in 313 AD. Worldwide, Christians can count themselves among the innumerate groups that are daily persecuted for their beliefs. This persecution can arise from either a government that has a different religion (for instance, in some Islamic countries) or from one that has no official religion at all, as in China or Cuba.
American religious conservatives think that the indignities (and frequently far worse things than that) that are perpetrated on Christians abroad is not treated with sufficient gravity by the US government or private groups within our borders. In short, many think that the international plight of Christians is ignored, symptomatic of the marginalization that Christians have encountered within our borders.
While this may sound a bit far afield from the usual topics discussed on this site, foreign treatment of Christians is heating up as a domestic political issue as groups like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family have chosen to oppose renewed "Most Favored Nation Trading Status" with China, largely due to human rights abuses. This represents a significant departure from their traditional Republican allies, and should be very significant in the years ahead.
Of course, persecution under Roman rule shaped the early Christian Church, and persecution by Catholics shaped Protestantism for hundreds of years (the Prots struck back when Catholics immigrated to America in the first part of this century) as well. For all those scholarly inclined, I've included some "persecution links" to better illustrate the role of persecution in shaping Christian belief.
Fox's Book of MartyrsBoy, this one is a classic. It's not the illustrated version, though.