Christians should expect more persecution

USA  ― While sharing their faith in street evangelism in Dearborn, Michigan, four Christians were arrested and accused of “disorderly conduct.” What does this mean for the future of Christians in the United States?

Dearborn, the unofficial Muslim capital of the U.S., hosted the annual Arab International Festival this past weekend. Many Christians–some former Muslims–go to the festival and use it as an opportunity to share the good news about Christ with their Muslim brothers and sisters.

Though in past years there had been some confrontation between Christians and Muslims, this year all the Christians at the festival were peaceful in their interactions and simply wanted to converse with other attendees, said Tom Doyle of E3 Partners. E3 Partners had people at the festival, though none of them were arrested.

With these arrests, questions arise about the tolerance the U.S. proclaims and how Christians have been excluded. Doyle believes the arrests are predictions about the future: “Things like this are going to be happening more often, unfortunately.” Doyle continues, “Even though we do live in a free country and we have freedom of religion, it does seem that [we], as Christians, are unfairly singled out”.

Doyle said there is a double standard between Christians, and even Jews, and other religious groups such as Muslims.

Just recently, Doyle said another sign of this was apparent in Los Angeles, California, as angry Palestinians rallied to protest the Gaza flotilla blockade. In the midst of them, newscasters videotaped a lone 16-year-old Jewish boy walking, carrying an Israeli flag. The Muslim mob began shouting at him, threatening his life and demanding he put down the flag, well within earshot of police.

The boy said little, and when he did speak, he spoke calmly to the cameraman. While police stood by–and at one point stood between the mob and the boy–they made no move to stop what the Muslims were saying.

Because Doyle does not expect this double standard to change anytime soon, he said Christians should be prepared: “I think we should expect persecution.”

Among Christians, methods of outreach traditionally have been debated; but Doyle says ministry should not stop–street evangelism or otherwise. “I don’t want to stand and be critical of people who are willing to go into the arena and share the Gospel in a potentially-hostile environment like that.”

Doyle asks everyone to pray: pray for teams and for protection in their continued street ministry. Pray for wisdom in the words they choose, and for U.S. laws to be upheld.

Visit E3 Partners’ Web site for specific prayer requests for their ministry.

Source: Mission Network Online


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