About Under Caesar's Sword

Under Caesar’s Sword: Christian Response to Persecution is a collaborative global research project that investigates how Christians respond when their religious freedom is severely violated. The project began in September 2014 with the support of a grant of $1.1 million from The Templeton Religion Trust. It is a partnership of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, the Religious Freedom Institute, and Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Research Project. 

The project involves a team of leading scholars of global Christianity who conducted first-hand research on Christian responses to persecution in some twenty-five countries. Through multiple channels, the project seeks to disseminate the findings of this research in order to raise awareness of Christian responses to persecution and to promote solidarity with those who are persecuted. On December 10–12, 2015, in Rome, the project hosted Under Caesar’s Sword: An International Conference on Christian Response to Persecution, at which the scholars presented their findings. On November 1, 2016, the project released a documentary film, also titled Under Caesar’s Sword. The project also has produced an interactive website on Christian responses to persecution. The present public report was released in spring 2017 and launched at a public symposium in Washington, D.C., on April 20, 2017. The project will also produce curricula for schools, churches, and other educational forums, including an online course, as well as a volume of essays by the team of scholars. All of these initiatives, including an online version of this report, can be explored or accessed at the project’s website, ucs.nd.edu. 

The scholars whose findings were used in compiling this report, with the countries that they studied, include:

  • Chad Bauman, Associate Professor of Religion, Butler University (India and Sri Lanka) 
  • Kathleen Collins, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) 
  • Maryann Cusimano Love, Associate Professor of International Relations, Catholic University of America (transnational networks) 
  • Jekatyerina Dunajeva, Lecturer, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary (Russia) 
  • Paul Freston, Professor of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University (Latin America) 
  • Robert Hefner, Professor of Anthropology, Boston University (Indonesia) 
  • Kent R. Hill, Executive Director, Religious Freedom Institute (Iraq and Syria) 
  • Karrie Koesel, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame (Russia) 
  • Joshua Landis, Associate Professor of International Studies, University of Oklahoma (Iraq and Syria) 
  • Paul Marshall, Senior Fellow, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute (Western Europe and North America) 
  • James Ponniah, Assistant Professor, Department of Christian Studies, University of Madras (India and Sri Lanka) 
  • Elizabeth Prodromou, Visiting Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (Turkey) 
  • Reginald Reimer, World Evangelical Alliance (Vietnam and Laos) 
  • Sara Singha, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Georgetown University (Pakistan and Afghanistan) 
  • Mariz Tadros, Fellow, Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex (Egypt, Libya, and Gaza) 
  • Christian Van Gorder, Associate Professor of Religion, Baylor University (Iran and Saudi Arabia) 
  • Fenggang Yang, Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (China)