The Long Reach of the Protestant Parsonage in Germany?
The American Interest, Peter Berger

With Gauck as president and Merkel continuing as chancellor, the two most prominent political figures in Germany will be individuals who grew up in East Germany under Communism. This may do something to assuage the inferiority feelings of Easterners (the so-called “Ossis”). But there is another aspect that interests me here: Both individuals are products of an institution with great cultural significance in German history—the Protestant parsonage.

You want to really talk about Christian Persecution?
The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia

We talk about it, and it’s a serious issue, but how much do we really know about the reality of Christian persecution, and how we folks in the pews need to be prepared to help each other as people are “paying blood for their fidelity to the Gospel”?


God Is Red: On Communism, Cults, and Chinese Christianity
The Gospel Coalition, Matt Smethurst

Books & Culture highlights and reviews numerous titles, but one in particular stood out last year. The 2011 Book of the Year award went to Liao Yiwu’s God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China (HarperOne, 2011). Liao, a “sympathetic nonbeliever,” spent three years observing and studying Chinese Christianity from the inside.

We talk about it, and it’s a serious issue, but how much do we really know about the reality of Christian persecution, and how we folks in the pews need to be prepared to help each other as people are “paying blood for their fidelity to the Gospel”

British Library buys 900 year old Gospel of St. John manuscript
Reuters, Mike Collett-White

A seventh century gospel discovered in a saint’s coffin more than 900 years ago, and the oldest European book to survive fully intact, has been acquired by the British Library for nine million pounds (US$14-million), the library said on Tuesday.