Editorial: No Christian Persecution in USA

For months I have been seeing one allegation after another that Christians are being persecuted in the USA.  The “evidence” is drawn from things as diverse as marriage licenses and coffee cups.  Hardly a day goes by without some new “proof” that is supposed to further confirm Christian persecution in this country.  For some, it has become an outright fear campaign.

I decided to do some research on documented religious persecutions in pre-Constantinian Christianity, in the Middle Ages, in and around the Reformation, and also in the Jewish holocaust.  Here is what I found.

We can declare we are being persecuted when there are restrictions and/or prohibitions on…

(1) Travel inside or outside the country

(2) Worship where and how we choose

(3) Housing type and where we can live

(4) Access to basic life necessities (i.e. food, clothing, and shelter)

Added to these four major signs is martyrdom–that is, when governments torture or kill people who profess faith in Jesus Christ.

There are places on the earth where Christians are being persecuted, but the USA is not one of them.  Of course, there are people who disagree with us and take opportunities to oppose Christians.  But that is not persecution, and it is wrong to use that word to describe what is happening.

To say Christians are being persecuted in the USA cheapens the true persecutions occurring elsewhere, and it counterfeits the concept here.  We are not being persecuted.  To continue to claim it does not make it so, but it does make Christians increasingly appear to be more ignorant and spoiled than we  might ever imagine ourselves to be.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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2 Responses to Editorial: No Christian Persecution in USA

  1. Jeff Blake says:

    Precisely. Thank you for stating this fact with love and clarity.

  2. Jack Harnish says:

    Excellent! Thank you Steve for addressing this so clearly.

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