Persecution is the reality for much of the Christian world. There are many places in the world where churches are not legal, evangelism is banned, and Christians are regularly beaten by their governments. In Egypt, Christians are martyred for their faith, probably even today. In Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, if the police show up at a church, they are there to shut it down—and arresting and/or beating everyone in attendance is likely as well.
China probably has more Christians than any other nation. Many of these believers suffer imprisonment and significant pressure from the government; they are evidence of the fact that 2,000 years after the Great Commission, it is still not legal for Christians to worship together in much of the world.
This is why American believers really need to come to terms with the fact that persecution is on the horizon. Christians in the United States all too easily tend to see persecution as something that happens “over there.” For the most part, that may be true (for now). In the United States, the police are at churches to direct traffic, and make it easier to attend. They are not there to shut it down.
But recent events should serve as a gentle reminder for American believers that “it has been granted unto us to suffer for the gospel.” Briefly...
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