In the past 10 days, Christian churches have been attacked in Egypt and Nigeria and improvised explosive devices have been placed on the doorsteps of Christian families in Iraq – which events, taken together, could mean a co-ordinated assault on Christians by Muslim holy warriors. Or, alternatively, a coincidental convergence of the kind of random assaults on Christians that regularly occurs in Muslim countries.

Either way, such assaults normally provoke negligible public response from people around the world, Christian or not. Perhaps the small slaughter in Alexandria will end this silence. It should. The civilized world should not quietly tolerate massacres conducted in the name of any God.

Christians, however, should not think that Christianity itself is in any way vulnerable to Muslim jihadists. Islam, as a faith, poses no threat to Christianity; neither, for that matter, does fundamentalist Islam. As U.S. political scientist Walter Russell Mead observed in a celebrated essay last year, Christianity is now “on its biggest roll” in its 2,000-year history. Many Christians, though, are only dimly aware of the faith’s phenomenal advance. You could call it the greatest story never told: the epilogue.

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