Where liberalism helps

Oct 11, 2018 by

By Jozef Andrew Kosc, First Things.

[…] The situation of the suffering Church demands a wholly different strategy from our search in the West for post-liberal political alternatives. In much of the world, we cannot afford to suspect liberalism, but must instead affirm liberal principles of religious liberty and pluralism, private property, and the doctrines of human rights and civil liberties. These central tenets of twentieth-­century Catholic social thought, affirmed in Vatican II documents (Dignitatis HumanaeGaudium et Spes) and in more recent encyclicals (Centesimus Annus; ­Caritas in Veritate), may by now seem tired in the West. But they remain as relevant today for the least of our brethren as they were at the time of issuance. The arbitrary detainment of American Evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, now facing up to thirty-five years of ­imprisonment in Turkey, reveals the cardinal importance of freedom of speech and assembly. It is obvious that these and many other fruits of liberalism, such as democratic governance, separation of church and state (or mosque and state), and, at a most basic level, the procedural rule of law, would drastically improve the ­material conditions of persecuted Christians around the world.

For too long, Western political leaders and intellectuals have turned a blind eye to illiberal threats to Chris­tianity in the East.

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