Jonathan Merritt writes a well-titled article: In the Middle East, not in America, Christians are Actually Persecuted (HT: Dave Black Online via The Jesus Paradigm).
My tolerance for referring to the comfortable life Christians lead in this country was destroyed before I even knew such a thing was possible. At a very young age I remember fleeing for our lives as some angry folks wanted to kill us. Even that, however, is a very minor incident compared to what Christians in many countries go through every day. We ran less than a mile. Law enforcement was on our side. We returned home the next day. Nonetheless, the memory helps me set the bar a bit higher for the word persecution.
Now I do believe we should advocate for freedom. I’d be delighted if we would advocate equally for the rights of people of other religions (yes, including Muslims), and people of no religion at all. Besides doing it for the political good of our country, we should do that as Christians on the basis of the golden rule. Let me be very clear here. If Muslims want to build a mosque in my neighborhood, I should be prepared to help them, not protest their presence. If the atheists want a display during Christmas, I’m not going to prevent it. I do this because that is what I would like others to do for me.
There are many things that can be done about Christians in countries where persecution (even with the bar set higher!) is very real and very constant. You can read just a small number of recent stories in the article I linked. I’m not going to try to argue strategy. Personally I try to provide support to Christian workers where I can. I have little faith in political action. Often, I’m afraid, the actions of American Christians don’t have the effect we hope for. But I could be wrong. Just consider this issue and do something.
But let’s not call our inconveniences and cultural annoyances “persecution.” It devalues an important word.