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Feb 09 2010

Christian Persecution

A few days ago, a subject came to mind as I was reading a blog that I frequent.  The blog post was not about persecution but for some reason, it came to my mind.  It’s not something I really think about too much for in this country (USA), there really isn’t much persecution.  As Christians, we are safe.  We may go to church when we please, hold bible studies, take our bible with us where ever we please and not have to worry about our lives being in danger.  Sure we are taunted at times for our beliefs.  There are laws in place that are restrictive and in some places, it is difficult in the work force.  And I am sure there will be a day when it’s going to be much more difficult.  But for now, in this day and age, we are safe and relatively free to worship as we please.

Unfortunately Christians in other countries do not enjoy the freedom we have.  They are persecuted in ways that we cannot begin to imagine.  I recall a few years ago reading about three men in Saudi Arabia who came to faith.  They were jailed and were sentenced to death by beheading unless they recanted their faith.  They did not recant.

One story I heard personally is one I will never forget.  This Pakistani man came to our church to share his testimony.  He was raised Muslim and was an officer in the Pakistani army.  He came to faith at some point and eventually so did his wife.  They had two little girls.  He was arrested and at one point, they were going to burn him alive.  He managed to escape but there was no place to go.  He was sure he would be caught and his wife and him would be executed.  He shared that his prayer to God was that he would not have to witness his children being killed.  That frightened him more than anything.  Somehow he was able to secure a visa to the United States.  He had already seen many Christians in his country murdered for their faith. During the question and answer period after he shared his testimony, someone stated that it was so much safer being a Christian in the United States.  His response stunned me.  He said that it was not safer being a Christian in the United States but more dangerous.  He went on to explain that it was more dangerous because Americans have it so easy.  He explained that Americans don’t rely on God as much as people from other countries.  In other words, he was saying that it was spiritually more dangerous.  Americans, he stated, take their faith for granted.

Since he gave that talk, I have thought about it from time to time.  In my own life, I have never experienced any persecution except for some taunting.  Perhaps on the Internet I am taken to task for my beliefs.  I can read my bible at work and I do.  I do not try and hide it.  I have not hidden my faith from my co-workers.  I have no fear of arrest.  My life is never in any danger because of my faith.  Unlike Christians in other countries, we do not need to hide our faith.  Christians do not need to rely on God to bring us safely into the next day because of our faith.  Christians do not need to worry that their children will be killed in order to force them to renounce their faith.  Christians don’t have to make a choice between faith and or the lives of their children.  Christians are not tortured in jail because of their faith.  In some countries, Christians have had their genitals electrocuted in order to force them to renounce their faith (men and women).

Jesus said that we will be persecuted because of our faith.  It may eventually come to this country.  It has not yet made its way here.  We are blessed.  I hope we all realize it.

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12 comments

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  1. noreligion

    You know unfortunately this is the exact opposite for an atheist. The persecution and religious bigotry faced in the USA is terrible while it isn’t bad in most of the world outside of the middle east.

    1. Tishrei

      I think that is for a Christian in this country as well. Here in California, Christians faced a lot of very ugly flack over the Prop 8 that passed. Even so, lives were not in danger. You are an atheist but you don’t have to worry that you are going to be killed or tortured because you are an atheist. You won’t lose your job. You won’t have to worry about your children being killed in front of you for being an atheist.

      I’ve traveled to other countries and that is what Christians face. Probably atheists as well if they are from a muslim country. But not on this country. We really do have it very easy no matter what our background is. At least in comparison to other places around the world.

  2. noreligion

    Can’t really address the situation in California but I can tell you in the bible belt and up here in fundagelical central, employment is a problem for an atheist. Don’t think I have to worry about being killed but I will say there are all to many like the ex-minister Paul Hill in this country.

    1. Tishrei

      I don’t know too much about what it’s like in your neck of the woods but I can tell you that potential employers are supposed to stay within a guideline when interviewing prospective employees. For instance, they’re not allowed ask about age (though that becomes somewhat obvious in a person’s resume, graduation date, etc), planning on having children, etc.

      An employer who fires an employee for any faith based issue opens up a can of worms than can be ugly. I cannot be fired for being a Christian. However, I can be prevented from using company time or company property to voice my religious beliefs. When they are paying me and I am on their clock, they own me in a sense. They cannot prevent me from sitting in the lunch room on my own time (my lunch hour) and reading my bible.

  3. noreligion

    Employers out here can’t legally talk about religious matters but there is no law prohibiting “gossip” on a personal level. As far as firing, which is a bit more commonplace, this is an at will state, as are most states, and simply put an employer can fire you if he doesn’t like the color of your shirt. Your belief or lack of will never be mentioned.

    1. Tishrei

      Most states are at-will – including California. They can fire me for not liking the way I dress but there are certain things that an employer cannot fire a person over. For instance, they cannot fire based on age, race, sexual orientation or faith. In other words, they can fire an employee for whatever reason they want as long as it is not a protected status.

    2. Repent Harlequin

      Employers can also fire for attitude.

  4. Repent Harlequin

    Hey Blog Lady T.,

    In the greatest country on God’s green earth we’ve got it made in comparison with what others face. When I hear anyone talk about how terrible it is here, whatever their belief or non-belief, I usually recommend therapy. I know I just made you laugh, but I’m serious; there’s some psychologocial complex going on that a good therapist could help out with.

    The Pakistani man is absolutely right. Spiritually it’s very dangerous here because we are given more opportunity to rely on ourselves than God. Our pastor brings this up frequently so we do not forget: We are blessed to be able to gather in the open every Sunday (except for last Sunday when, thanks to global warming, ahem, I mean “climate change”, we got buried her in snow – see my pics on Facebook) and we can walk down the street carrying a Bible.

    If all we have to deal with are remarks by others and the occasional Darwin fish are all we have to contend with then we’ve nothing to complain about.

    In Christ,
    Kent

  5. noreligion

    So if they don’t like your faith (or lack of) but they say they fired you because of something else, they are fine.

  6. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    You barely dented the iceberg of the persecution of Christians….. A web site that gives us good reason to spend more time praying for persecuted Christians is at:
    http:// www . persecution . com/

    It is very true that we presently don’t have anything to complain about regarding persecution in the U.S….. But, when gays invade a communion service and demand communion against the will of the church, that is a step in the direction of persecution and there was nothing to stop them….. Or when gays demand that changes be made at a Christian college to accomodate them….. Today’s news told of churches in Texas being burned….. There have also been people in the medical field, whom they try to force into performing abortions….. There are also some working to make laws that all churches and church colleges must accept the homosexual lifestyle as a godly thing.

    None of this begins to compare with the persecution in other parts of the world, but is an indication of how a trend is being set, in spite of our freedom of religion….. It seems that even in our freedom, parameters need to be set to prevent the types of harassments mentioned above.

    We do need to thank our Lord every day for the freedoms we have.

    Margaret

  7. Tami

    I don’t think it’s possible for us to realize how much freedom we have BECAUSE we haven’t lived without it. Nevertheless, our gratitude should rise. And when the day may come when we do realize it, our gratitude should rise again. Glory to Him … ALWAYS,

  8. Liz

    Thanks for this post. I too have not really experienced any. My boos is a believer so I can talk freely about God.

    I would say from non beleivers is the biggest hit. But again nothing major just disagreement and back talk. I am thankful that it is so.

    I remind myself in other countries they are not able to share and be open about God. For example China.

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