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The Amish Voice 7

What is Christian Persecution?

Christian persecution is any hostility

experienced from the world as a result of

one's identification as a Christian. From

verbal harassment to hostile feelings,

attitudes and actions, Christians in areas

with severe religious restrictions pay a





faith. Beatings, physical








slavery, discrimination in

education and employment,

and even death are just a few

examples of the persecution

they experience on a daily


According to The Pew

Research Center, over 75% of

the world's population lives in areas with

severe religious restrictions (and many of

these people are Christians). Also,

according to the United States

Department of State, Christians in more

than 60 countries face persecution from

their governments or surrounding

neighbors simply because of their belief

in Jesus Christ.

Theology of Christian Persecution

Blessed are they which are persecuted for

righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the

kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when

men shall revile you, and persecute you,

and shall say all manner of evil against

you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be

exceeding glad: for great is your reward

in heaven: for so persecuted they the

prophets which were before you.

Matthew 5:10-12

Believers around the world stand strong,

despite the many obstacles that they face.

What are some of the things that we can

learn from their faith? There is something

about hardship that allows us to know

God deeply. When times get really tough,

we discover more about who God is and

how He works. Christians who have

endured persecution for their faith know

this well.

There are no easy answers for why God

allows his followers to face suffering.

However, the lives of persecuted

Christians reveal that even when things

look out of control, believers can rest

secure, knowing that God is still in

control. He is able to give courage, peace,

and even joy to stand strong through the

storm. It is through these storms that

believers discover God's love in new and

powerful ways.

One ministry that reaches out to

persecuted Christians has a study with six

lessons to help persecuted Christians.

1. Sometimes you need to build

yourself a cell.

Be still, and know that I am God



One Chinese church leader who spent 23

years in prison once said this to

Christians who did not face persecution:

"I was pushed into a cell, but you have to

push yourself into one. You have no time

to know God. You need to build yourself

a cell, so you can do for yourself what

persecution did for me—simplify your

life and know God." It is vital that we

spend time with God, to grow in Him, so

we are prepared to stand strong in the

face of persecution.

2. God keeps secrets

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, saith the

Lord. For as the heavens are higher than

the earth, so are my ways higher than

your ways, and my thoughts than your


(Isaiah 55:8-9).

There have been countless




Christians who have died

without seeing the fruits of

their labor. However, God

knows all that has been and

all that is to come. Our labor

is not in vain; it is in His


3. Weakness is a direct

path to power.

Therefore I take pleasure in

infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,

in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s

sake: for when I am weak, then am I


(2 Corinthians 12:10).

An Egyptian Christian reflected on the

way he was treated when he converted to

Christ: "In great suffering you discover a

different Jesus than you do in normal

life…. Pain and suffering bring up to the

surface all the weak points of your

personality. In my weakest state, I had an

incredible realization that Jesus loved me

even right then." True empowerment

does not come from human means, but

through Christ alone. It often takes being

at our weakest point to realize this.

4. Overcoming is greater than


Be not overcome of evil, but overcome

evil with good

(Romans 12:21).

Persecuted Christians, no matter what

country they are from, do not ask us to

pray that persecution would end, but

rather ask us to pray that they stand

strong through the persecution. They do

Continued on next page

Persecution of Christians