Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, who has starred in numerous films, including the Indiana Jones movies and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, said that he finds himself "constantly defending Christians and Christianity," and added that "christian civilization has made the world a better place than it ever was."
At the 28th Annual Movieguide Awards on Jan. 24, the Christian Post asked Rhys-Davies about some his recent films, which are about Christianity, including a new movie on St. Patrick entitled "I am Patrick."
"Understand, I count myself a rationalist and a skeptic, and I find myself constantly defending Christians and Christianity,” said Rhys-Davies. “I find that wonderful. We seem to forget that Christian civilization has made the world a better place than it ever was."
"One of the great glories" of Christianity, he said, "was the abolition of slavery."
"There is still slavery and that makes me very mad," he added.
"But all the things that we value, the right of free speech, the right of the individual conscience, these evolved in first and second century Roman Christendom, where the individual Christian said, 'I have a right to believe, what I believe and not what the Emperor tells me,'" said the actor. "From that our whole idea of democracy and the equality that we have has developed."
"We owe Christianity the greatest debt of thanks that a generation can ever have, and to slight it and to dismiss it as being irrelevant is the detritus of rather ill-read minds, I think,” said Rhys-Davies.
In a 2004 interview with National Review, Rhys-Davies criticized the ever-growing Muslim population in Europe.
“I think that radical Islam has declared war on the West," he said. “It’s not a question of the decency of Muslims. [But] radical Islamist groups are controlling, manipulating, and forming the attitudes of Muslims throughout Europe."
“Last year, 56 percent of the babies born in Brussels were Muslim,” said Rhys-Davies. “In a matter of 20-50 years, we are going to see two to three countries become predominately Muslim -- Holland, France, and possibly Germany.”
“There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about, that we daren’t bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially," he said. "And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural [aspect] as well."
He continued, “When I look at contemporary Islam, I see homophobia, forced conversion, genital mutilation, slavery, two million people being put to death in the Sudan because of their religion.”
“There is a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe unprecedented since the 1930s,” added Rhys-Davies. “Fundamental Islamism is a particularly brutish and unpleasant form of fascism.”
“It’s easy to lose a civilization,” he said.
John Rhys-Davies, 75, has starred in films and television since the mid-1960s. In addition to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which he won several Screen Actors Guild Awards, he has been in such films/TV as Aquaman, The Jungle Book 2, The Lost World, I, Claudius, Fantastic Four, and Psych.