It’s rather easy to search this, but do you want to know what was the very first article that was published on this site? What the topic was about? The very first article was about a very similar subject to this one: Christian persecution, and it asked the question of whether or not there is Christian persecution in the United States.
To summarize that article, yes, there is Christian persecution in the U.S., has been for a while, and it very well might get worse in the future if we allow it.
However, it’s worth pointing out that there pretty much has always been Christian persecution for as long as the religion itself has existed (and technically before, since Christ suffered that kind of persecution, despite Him having been Jewish and following Jewish law). I’ve already talked about that, nearly two years to the date.
Christians will always be persecuted and we have been for a very long time. One example of this in the history of Christendom is the story of Thomas Becket, an English archbishop who was persecuted and ultimately murdered for defending the Church and placing it ahead of the Crown.
The 850th anniversary of his martyrdom was very recent, on December 29th, and President Trump made sure to commemorate this anniversary and that moment in history, adding the need to end Christian persecution much like what happened to Becket.
In a proclamation, President Trump wrote: “Today is the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170. Thomas Becket was a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop, and a lion of religious liberty.”
“Before the Magna Carta was drafted, before the right to free exercise of religion was enshrined as America’s first freedom in our glorious Constitution, Thomas gave his life so that, as he said, ‘the Church will attain liberty and peace.’”
The president went on to give a brief summary of Becket’s biography, noting that Becket was an archbishop who was killed by four knights of King Henry II in his church, Canterbury Cathedral, on December 29, 1170, after Becket famously resisted the king’s attempt at dwindling the power of the Church with the Constitutions of Clarendon.
Trump’s proclamation went on to say that when Becket refused to accept Henry’s declaration, “the furious King Henry II threatened to hold him in contempt of royal authority and questioned why this ‘poor and humble’ priest would dare defy him, Archbishop Becket responded ‘God is the supreme ruler, above Kings’ and ‘we ought to obey God rather than men.’”
“Because Thomas would not assent to rendering the church subservient to the state, he was forced to forfeit all his property and flee his own country. Years later, after the intervention of the Pope, Becket was allowed to return – and continued to resist the King’s oppressive interferences into the life of the church. Finally, the King had enough of Thomas Becket’s stalwart defense of religious faith and reportedly exclaimed in consternation: ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’”
“The King’s knights responded and rode to Canterbury Cathedral to deliver Thomas Becket an ultimatum: give in to the King’s demands or die. Thomas’ reply echoes around the world and across the ages. His last words on this earth were these: ‘For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.’ Dressed in holy robes, Thomas was cut down where he stood inside the walls of his own church.”
“Thomas Becket’s martyrdom changed the course of history. It eventually brought about numerous constitutional limitations on the power of the state over the Church across the West. In England, Becket’s murder led to the Magna Carta’s declaration 45 years later that: ‘[T]he English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired.’”
“When the Archbishop refused to allow the King to interfere in the affairs of the Church, Thomas Becket stood at the intersection of church and state. That stand, after centuries of state-sponsored religious oppression and religious wars throughout Europe, eventually led to the establishment of religious liberty in the New World. It is because of great men like Thomas Becket that the first American President George Washington could proclaim more than 600 years later that, in the United States, ‘All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship’ and that ‘it is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.’”
“On this day, we celebrate and revere Thomas Becket’s courageous stand for religious liberty and we reaffirm our call to end religious persecution worldwide.” Trump added that “the crimes against people of faith must stop, prisoners of conscience must be released, laws restricting freedom of religion and belief must be repealed, and the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed must be protected.”
The president concluded: “As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty. A society without religion cannot prosper. A nation without faith cannot endure – because justice, goodness, and peace cannot prevail without the grace of God.”
He is right, of course, in all of these regards. But given the nature of the Left, who are driven by Satanic beliefs, we will not see the end of Christian persecution any time soon.
Like I pointed out in that article from nearly two years ago, what the United States has done for those of us who are Christians is give us a moment of relief from that sort of persecution. Legally and constitutionally, we are free to exercise our religion. The problem comes when even those who are sworn to enforce the law and protect the constitution willingly decide not to do so. While there are a number of police officers who have defied their insane (often Democrat) governors and their tyrannical mandates, I have seen far too many videos online of police officers forcing Christians to disperse from public prayer and forcing churches to shut down.
The Chinese coronavirus gave people in power with already some dictatorial tendencies to freely and with impunity rule their states and cities with an iron fist. I’ve already detailed how Cuomo and de Blasio have targeted synagogues and churches by forcing them to shut down while allowing mosques to still operate, and there are stories of churches in California being fined and threatened with permanent closure for defying Newsom’s orders.
Christian persecution exists in different forms at different times. One thing I will say is that even this current persecution is not quite as bad as it used to be in the past, or as it is in other parts of the world like in China or some Middle Eastern countries. Christian leaders today aren’t being killed in cold blood by police for defying the lockdown orders. Thomas Becket was killed in cold blood by the king’s knights (the equivalent to today’s police) for defying a piece of legislation specifically because of its clause which subjected priests charged with a serious felony to being judged by a secular jury and being given a “secular punishment”.
I don’t know everything about how the criminal justice system used to work in 12th century England under the rule of King Henry II, and I have no idea what “secular punishment” means, but it’s clear that it was far easier for tyrants to exercise extreme measures against what they consider to be pests for things which are, from what I can see, considerably less of a big deal in comparison to impeding the religious liberty of assembly and worship of Christians in states across the country. I don’t want to trivialize or minimize what Christians had to go through back then, but I consider this present crisis to be worse than the Constitutions of Clarendon, seeing as it affects far more people than just priests who are charged with serious felonies (and who knows what constituted as a “serious felony” in those days?).
Even still, it’s not like Newsom or Cuomo can order cops to shoot and kill church leaders for their defiance. Even de Blasio has made numerous threats to permanently close down synagogues but has yet to actually go through with that, despite those synagogues’ persistent defiance.
So in many ways, this kind of Christian persecution is not nearly as bad as it was back then (again, church leaders aren’t being extrajudicially murdered for their defiance), so we should count our blessings, but any Christian persecution must be fought against anyway.
We will continue to see it, undoubtedly, and it could potentially get far worse. Again, the law and the Constitution protect us but only insofar as there are those who are willing to enforce the law and Constitution. Otherwise, law is just words written on paper and utterly worthless.
The country has the laws necessary for protecting and securing our borders – we just need to enforce those laws. The country has the laws necessary for protecting us against election fraud – we just need to enforce those laws. The country has the laws necessary for protecting religious freedom – we just need to enforce those laws.
The good news is that, either way, we are blessed in the Lord. If we are not persecuted, that’s great; if we are, that’s fine too. God will recompense us all our sorrows, our worries, our pain. All that we lose, God will multiply. If the enemy takes away our wealth, God will multiple that wealth. If the enemy takes away our families, God will multiply those families. If the enemy takes away our lives, God has guaranteed us eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The enemy has power, but that power is nothing compared to God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
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