Good words from Rachel Held Evans on the myth that Christians are being persecuted today in the United States:
There are indeed Christians being persecuted around the world. There are Christians who break the law by gathering together for church, Christians whose family members have been executed for their beliefs, Christians who have been imprisoned for following Jesus, Christians who live in poverty and fear as a result of their faithfulness.
Being wished “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” is not persecution. Being prohibited from persecuting others (by forcing Jewish kids to pray Christian prayers in a public school, for example) is not persecution. Not getting your way in every area of civic life is not persecution.
And I’m pretty sure that when the apostle Peter wrote his letter to the persecuted Church of Asia Minor, encouraging his fellow Christians to be brave in the face of oppression by the Roman government, he was not referring to Christians getting snubbed at Domitian’s inauguration ceremony.
We dishonor the memory of the millions of Christians who have suffered very real persecution through the centuries when we confuse a lack of privileged status with persecution. As Robert Cargill has noted: “There is a difference between persecution and the loss of privileged status. Just because you didn’t get what you want doesn’t mean that you are persecuted. It means you can’t have everything.”