No more persecution?

persecutedTed Olsen over at Christianity Today performed a GetReligion-style look at the Sacramento Bee. And with good reason. In a story headlined, "Fewer refugees finding solace in Sacramento County," the reporters give the following reason for the drop in refugees fleeing persecution:

Religious persecution of Christian evangelicals -- Sacramento's largest refugee group -- has almost disappeared since the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union in 1989-91, experts say.

Really? That might be news to all the evangelical Christians across the globe who are suffering persecution. The statement isn't substantiated by anyone in the article, either. Also, the phrase Christian evangelicals just seems off, doesn't it? I love to use the term evangelical to describe other groups (such as some of my enthusiastic atheist friends) but the term is rather Christian specific. I just think it works better to switch the two words around.

Olsen thinks the reporter may have made the above statement based on the following quote:

"Ukraine now has as much freedom of expression as the U.S.," [longtime Slavic community leader and radio host Michael Lokteff] said, "but in Central Asian republics and parts of Russia, there's still some persecution."

Even if that quote could be interpreted to mean that persecution of evangelical Christians has almost disappeared in much of the former Soviet Union, there's a lot of world left to look at. You can look through Christianity Today's hundreds of articles on persecution of Christians. Or heck, just check out Wikipedia's entry on the matter.

It's interesting, too, that the article was corrected for another problem but the misstatement on persecution of Christians has been left unchanged.

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