Yes, Christians are being persecuted in America. Here’s how we can respond By William Wolfe, Op-ed contributor for The Christian Post
Despite what some may claim, Christians are being persecuted in America.
That might be hard to hear, but it’s true. Even though the United States is, arguably, the freest nation on the planet, and offers the First Amendment protection, Christians still face already-and-increasing persecution here between our shining seas.
We need to recognize this and prepare for it to get worse.
When making such a factual statement as “Christians are persecuted in America,” you will inevitably be met by a chorus of “actually, no.” This Internet-active crowd apparently refuses to call anything “persecution” until heads are rolling, stakes are burning, and the lions are digesting the remains of the faithful.
What the “actually, no they aren’t” crowd gets wrong
But this ahistorical position has (at least) two problems. First, that’s not what the word persecution means. The definition of persecution includes “hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.” So no, we aren’t being fed to the lions just yet. But there is no conceivable doubt that Christians are facing “hostility and ill-treatment” for their faith in America. So, definitionally, the persecution deniers are missing the point.
Even worse, they are wrong from a biblical understanding of the word. Jesus clearly taught that persecution can, and will, take on many forms that don’t result in death. In Matthew 5:11-12Jesus reminds His followers, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus is referring here to varying degrees of persecution that His followers will face, just as the prophets of old faced varying degrees of persecution. We see in the New Testament that some believers were killed, like Stephen, and some were shunned or suffered in other ways.