You better believe it!
Sure, if you only equate persecution with those who are burned alive inside churches, like Islamists do to Christians in Nigeria, then we are not.
If you mean persecution only applies to those who are beheaded with a dull-edged sword, as Islamists do to Christians in Syria, then again, no.
If you mean it is only about crucifying people alive, as Islamists do to Christians in Pakistan and elsewhere, then that doesn’t apply either.
The subtler persecution of Christians in America, which began mildly, with the media mocking Jimmy Carter’s “born again” claim, has escalated rapidly in the last five years.
If Christians in a social gathering or on the Piers Morgan show say they believe Jesus is the only Savior and Lord, they will incite the most venomous verbal attack. If Christians speak out against Islamism or the celebration of homosexuality, they will be attacked with labels such as “Islamophobe” or “homophobe”—words manufactured by two groups that would normally hate each other but join forces for the purpose of eliminating the true Christian point of view.
Our nation once rejoiced to send loving Christian missionaries to alleviate suffering and bring the Good News of the gospel to a world filled with darkness and unbelief. Now our leaders refuse to condemn the genocide taking place against Christians around the world while condemning nations for enacting moral laws against the act of homosexuality.
A nation once admired for the peaceful missions of its Peace Corps now exports the most violent and immoral movies—so much so that America is now synonymous with violence, pornography and immorality in general.
America once stood up for the suffering and persecuted. Today, however, if you ask any non-Islamist Egyptian (most of the country), they will tell you that the Obama administration would rather side with terrorists than true freedom-loving citizens.
How could this have happened to a great nation in such a short period of time?
I have communicated with thousands of Twitter and Facebook followers about this, as well as with others in face-to-face settings. It is safe to say that committed and nominal Christians alike are bewildered.
People who have not been involved in politics are becoming more politically minded, wanting to ensure through future elections that we choose leaders who share America’s founding values.
And many who are spiritually inclined are beginning to focus their prayers on America—that God may save her from a path that leads to an inevitable abyss.
Either way, we know something is drastically wrong. And, as some believe, it may take a major crisis to return us from the consequences of such political and social arrogance. In that way, we may be humbled enough to repent and return to God.
Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and on-the-ground ministry teams. Youssef was born in Egypt.