(405) 425-5070

What is persecution?


Religious persecution is hard to define, said Terry Seufferlein, a professor of Bible at York College in Nebraska, a college associated with Churches of Christ.

Persecution and the Church

Related coverage

• Tortured for Christ:  Two thousand years after Christianity’s birth, persecution is still part of the faith

• Walking dead:  Dennis Okoth shares his story of poisoning, survival and hope

• A labor of love in Dubai: A preacher training school operates — legally — in the Middle East

• ‘Faithful, even to the point of death’ A Christian killed by her husband highlights the danger of following Jesus in India

• How is persecution like Ebola?


“What counts as persecution? Who counts as Christians?” he asked. “And, when Christians are persecuted, is it because of their faith or other factors — ethnic, economic or political? “
One of his students is from South Sudan, where Christians suffered for decades in a conflict with predominantly Muslim Sudan, from which they gained independence in 2011. “How much of that persecution is about Christianity, and how much is about other issues?” Seufferlein asked. 
As a resource, he suggested a recent issue of Christian History magazine titled “Eyewitnesses to the Modern Age of Persecution,” featuring input from Voice of the Martyrs
In one article, authors Christof Sauer and Thomas Schirrmacher note that persecution “comes from worldviews competing for influence, ruling powers feeling threatened by people who hold to a higher power, human greed and envy, and the threat of something new and strange. Not all persecution tries to smash the church violently.”
The International Religious Freedom Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998, condemns acts of religious persecution including “detention, torture, beatings, forced marriage, rape, imprisonment, enslavement, mass resettlement and death merely for the peaceful belief in, change of or practice of their faith.”

Filed under: Headlines - Secondary International Top Stories

View Comments

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

$
Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.