I always equate this word with the experience of the early Christians. They suffered and they sacrificed their lives for their faith in God.
Several centuries have passed and so many teachings have been preached in the pulpits. We understand that someone’s faith in a Divine God deserves respect, at least some respect.
I was really disturbed, in silence, when someone persecuted me because of my faith in God. I was taken by surprise and I was not able to react or respond. I just smiled and said to myself, “Is that persecution in the 21st century?”
True, there is still persecution everywhere; in different forms and degrees. And yes, like me, there are still those who feel bad and hurt when they are maligned, mocked upon, laughed at, belittled, or demeaned because of their faith, their love, their belief in God.
Everyone is free. Everyone can do whatever he wants but not at the expense of another. The latter is persecution when it relates to one’s faith or oppression when it relates to one’s right to being.
Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Mattthew 5:11