Think Christian persecution happens in the middle east – to others? But not here, right? In North American, we have freedom. Freedom of speech, thought, and beliefs. We have religious rights. We won’t be mistreated for what we believe, will we? This is a wake-up call to all Christians.
Persecution of Christians is rising globally. Perhaps you’ve heard of Pastor Saeed? Or, the occupational therapist from England, who was disciplined by her company for giving a woman of differing beliefs a Christian book. She was suspended from work for nine months for her actions. The case is now in court.
More Christians have been persecuted in the last century, than in all of history. Statics report that every 5 minutes a Christian is being martyred. Christian maltreatment has risen 400% in the last 7 years.
North American Persecution of Christians
The problem is, no one wants to talk about it. Canada’s Prime Minister was recently quoted as saying, “Like it or not, extreme jihadists have declared war on us, on all free people, and on Canada specifically. And pretending it’s not so is not going to make it go away.” The US has received similar threats. It’s not all coming from radical religious extremists.
Pastors have been request to hand over weekly sermon notes to local authorities, so they can be reviewed and approved before Sunday preaching. Recently, a Christian University in BC came under attack because it upholds Christian values, especially as it pertains sexual relations. The president of that University said, “the degree of outright opposition to its new law school could mark the beginning of ‘a new era of persecution’ against the Church in Canada”. I’ve barely scraped the surface of what has been going on.
In saying that, I’m eager to warn you. The church simply isn’t prepared for what’s to come. We need to take a lesson from some of the early believers who knew one reality: persecution was
You may want to turn a blind-eye. Denial won’t help. The Bible warns us of what’s to come, not so that you and I will be afraid, but so that we can get ready now. We’ll start with just one step. Awareness.
What is persecution?
Let’s start with what it’s not.
Suffering as a result of poor choices is not persecution. Unhealthy life-styles that cause heart disease is self-induced.
A lack of friends because we’re mean-spirited cant be blamed on faith.
We’re not victims when: overspending results in the inability to meet monthly debt obligations. Collection agencies won’t stop calling. Vehicles do get towed when loans are delinquent. Banks foreclose if they don’t receive mortgage payments for 6 months.
True persecution, because of one’s beliefs, means being intentionally bullied. Harassment, such as misjudged motives, false accusations, and/or unjust treatment is inflicted. It may include torture, imprisonment, and/or death. This is persecution.
I’ve been mocked. I’ve been defriended on Facebook (which might seem silly, but this is the world we live in). Insulted by friends, and at times rejected by those most important to me. As a result of my faith and moral values, I’ve been falsely accused. It’s hurtful but, when compared to what others endure, it’s nothing.
I believe we are living the shadows of the last days. The Apostle Paul warned us that things would go from bad to worse. He said, Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Will you be ready to stand firm?
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