Religious persecution takes many forms. It is not always an “in your face” life-threatening situation.
It can be a more subtle, invasive form of discrimination. Persecution can take the form of a cloak-and-dagger operation when the swinging axe of an executioner would be far less effective.
This tactic of persuasion has been an oft utilized weapon in Satan’s toolkit. He deceived Adam and Eve right out of paradise with God, not by waging physical war against them, but by deceiving them and weaving lies which would lead them away from their Creator.
In an interview with Faithwire’s Billy Hallowell, founder of the KAIROS Company Johnnie Moore discussed the impact, growth and evolution of persecution across the globe and the different forms it is taking in various regions.
“I’m always clear when I’m talking about the subject … I have no intention of drawing a parallel between religious discrimination in the United States of America or in the West and people getting their heads chopped off in Western Africa, their whole lives and livelihood[s] being destroyed routinely,” Moore explained.
Pointing to the war that is waged against Christians in other parts of the world, Moore highlights the fact that persecution never starts out as open warfare against the cross. It evolves and gradually grows into physical violence.
While Moore clearly highlights the vast differences between various forms of persecution, he also shines light on the first of two distinct warnings for Christians on the formation and evolution of persecution. It takes root and slowly develops from the beginning stages into larger social structures of discrimination.
“When I’m in the most intensely persecuting places, the persecuted church always tells me, in some way, they’ll say something like, ‘It didn’t start like this here. It started with marginalization. It started with discrimination. It started with our children being treated differently in schools,'” he said. “And so, they always say, ‘Watch out for the early warning signs,'” warns Moore.
America is in these beginning stages that Moore describes.
Children and teachers are chastised and punished by public schools for displays of Christian faith. Even more glaring than persecution of displays of faith is the new reality that anyone who does not bow to the altar of the “pride rainbow” and LGBTQ ideology will be shunned, victimized and pushed out the door of public education, corporate positions and media.
That is the marginalization that is taking root in America.
According to the new American social standards, if you stand up for biblical principles, you are a bigot and therefore you must be silenced.
This marginalization blends seamlessly into Moore’s second observation.
He has noticed in areas suffering severe persecution there has become a mentality of “change your beliefs or else,” mirroring the present latter stages of cancel culture affecting Western nations today.
Moore states that the founding documents acknowledged the rights given by God that have protected America from such horrific persecution for so long.
“There is no parallel between the unrivaled religious freedom we enjoy in the United States of America and all of these other places and circumstances,” Moore said. “It’s the first clause of the first sentence of our First Amendment, and, under most circumstances, when it gets squeezed, it works its way up in our system, and it’s protected.”
Yet many Americans do not realize just how close they are to losing those rights.
All it would take is a Supreme Court that is filled with “activist” judges to allow the religious liberties Americans hold dear to be torn down in favor of the radical gender ideologies infecting the American justice system today.
Even as persecution ramps up, Moore continues to see examples of the church taking a stand for the cross and endure the storm of discrimination, even to the point of death.
“There were more martyrs in the last century than in the previous 19 centuries combined, most of that at the end of the 20th century,” explains Moore. “[The] situation’s really, really bad, and yet the church is so strong and all around the world in the most difficult places of the most difficult times I meet the most amazing Christians that walk off the pages of the New Testament into your life.
“The old adage that, ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,’ that’s true,” he added. “The strength of the church has made my own faith alive and it encourages me.”
As persecution accelerates its rampage across the globe in the devil’s ill-fated attempt at quashing the gospel message of Jesus Christ, there is strength and encouragement in the blood shed by believers that proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior, even to the point of death.
So, take courage in their faith, and the living Word of God. For the Creator of all things will give those who stand in faith the strength and peace to endure the attacks of the world until the time comes when Jesus returns for His church.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.