There's a war raging against Christianity, but the attackers must police themselves, says Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R).

"From Boston to Zanzibar, there's a worldwide war on Christianity," the world's most-practiced religion, he said Friday at the Values Voters Summit, an annual conservative gathering. The intensity of attacks is so high, he later added, that it's "almost as if we lived in the Middle Ages," a period that included the Crusades.

Today's war is perpetrated by "a fanatical element of Islam," Rand said, adding that most Muslims are not commited to violence against Christians. However, those who are number in the tens of millions, he said. And it falls upon Muslims themselves to take on their violent brothers.

"Some politicians say that this war on Christianity means that we must fight a large conventional war against all radical Islam. ... This isn't going to be fought with a conventional war, it's going to require Islam to police Islam," Paul said, imploring Muslims to embrace what he described as a more peaceful, enlightened past.

Paul's speech was delivered ahead of a White House meeting between President Obama and Republican senators, including Paul, to discuss the government shutdown and impending debt ceiling breach.