While most of the persecution against Christians in America has been mild compared to what Christians are enduring in other countries, I believe that could change very quickly as I see hostility towards Christians quickly increasing in America - and much of it is coming from within the professing church. Others who recognize this should not consider the words to the following Bible passage to be far-fetched: “The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2).
After studying the definition of “persecution” over the years, I realized it has been occurring here in America all my life. Persecution is to pursue in a manner to injure, vex, or afflict; to harass or destroy, to perplex or twist (my paraphrase of Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English language definition of persecution).
To share in our Lord's baptism, to drink the cup He drank, means to take on His sorrows as well. For the love of His Father towards the world, Jesus walked in a sinful world that He knew was going to reject Him, in order that those who would come to Him should be saved. As His Body here on earth, we walk in a godless world that is increasingly embracing evil and rejecting His love and His salvation, turning more and more hateful and vindictive toward us day by day.
For the Church, persecution is always on the mind. What exactly persecution means to our minds, however, has perhaps become a bit limited.
Growing up in America, I used to think how fortunate it was that I was protected from outright persecution as a Christian, especially given the protections granted in the constitution of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. As the years have gone by, however, we have seen those protections and freedoms encroached upon more and more - so much so that now there is an open war being waged against biblical teachings and Christian beliefs.