One hundred years ago, one-third of the population of Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was non-Muslim. It was home to hundreds of thousands of Jews and Christians. Today, Istanbul, now the capital of the modern state of Turkey, is less than one percent non-Muslim. This did not happen by accident. What's more, the same forces that turned one of Christianity's great cities into a virtual Christian-free zone is still at work throughout the world.
These processes and possible Christian responses to them are the subject of an important new project, "Under Caesar's Sword," and a short documentary by the same name. The project is a joint effort of the University of Notre Dame and the Religious Freedom Center of the Berkley Center at Georgetown University. The goal of the "three-year, collaborative global research project" is to investigate "how Christian communities respond when their religious freedom is severely violated."
A study by The International Society for Human Rights states that Christians are "the victims of 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world." Christians are also "the only religious group that is persecuted in all 16 of the countries highlighted as egregious offenders by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2012."
Pew Research Center found that between June 2006 and December 2012, Christians faced harassment and intimidation in 151 countries, the largest number of any religious group.