No Christians, It’s Not Always Persecution

If you wouldn’t mind (it’s fine if you’d rather not), can you elaborate on the “it’s not always persecution” post? I’m a Christian and feel like I could use some enlightening here. Thank you!

Hey dear friend, I believe you’re referring to this post:

There’s a phenomenon called a Persecution Complex in which someone feels that any sort of external opposition is “persecution” and is therefore the “enemy.”

Now, real persecution does exist. Christians, Muslims, Jews, the LGBTQ community, and some ethnicities experience physical violence all around the world, simply because of how they identify. Some religions are outlawed in certain places, at the risk of imprisonment or worse.

However, “persecution” for Christians is often stretched in the West to mean, “They stopped putting Merry Christmas on Starbucks cups.” Or, “They made fun of my fish sticker on my car.” Or, “I tried preaching a sermon at my work meeting and now they’re avoiding me, I’m being persecuted!”

The thing is, being a Christian is naturally strange for a lot of people. We forgive, we give generously, we love on those who are hard to love, we don’t fight fire with fire. If I met someone that compassionate, I would think they had an agenda. Christians don’t have one; they’re gracious because they want to be, because they’re a reflection of how Christ is alive in their lives. So sure, people might say a Christian is weird. But sometimes western Christians will flex their identity obnoxiously, stuffing a false Jesus into every conversation as stubbornly and awkwardly as possible, wanting a Christian theocracy, calling all opposition the devil, accusing people of working for satan, saying any feedback is just “demonic.” This is just plain weird in all the wrong ways. It’s a victim complex that creates Us vs. Them, that can arbitrarily label any criticism as a satanic hater.

My suspicion is that when Christians yell “You’re persecuting me!” that’s 1) a seal of self-approval as if to say they’re being a true Christian, and 2) they want to be a hero on some grand pseudo quest. It’s a sort of martyr syndrome in which the persecuted is always put upon, always facing a made-up villain.

Christians in America are not persecuted. They’re the majority. Yes, maybe they get some backlash. But generally a western Christian is safe and able to identify as Christian out loud. I always want to tell a western Christian what they do to North Korean Christians. Almost no American Christian would last under real persecution.

When western Christians tell me they’re persecuted, they’re completely diminishing very real persecution happening overseas. Christian brothers and sisters being beheaded, locked up for years, their churches raided, their children rounded up. To use “persecution” as a sort of badge is an insult to those persecuted groups who need our prayers and our help.

— J.S.

Photo from Unsplash

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