Quotes about Persecution-General


Suffering is common for all. However, persecution (which is a form of suffering) can be avoided. All you have to do is compromise.


Light and darkness cannot dwell together in peaceful coexistence. Therefore a witnessing church will be a persecuted church.


Violent persecution focuses the mind on the fact that the kingdom of this world is an enemy to the kingdom of God. When there hasn’t been any persecution for a long time – as in our part of the world – many Christians start expecting the world to be a friend. They slip into seeking the world’s approval instead of God’s.


Therefore, I bind these lies and slanderous accusations to my person as an ornament; it belongs to my Christian profession to be vilified, slandered, reproached and reviled, and since all this is nothing but that, as God and my conscience testify, I rejoice in being reproached for Christ’s sake.


When persecution is not universal, sustained and determined, when the church survives, at the very least persecution helps Christians to see what their priorities are and can foster a deeply spiritual faithfulness grounded in the ever-present prospect of eternity.


The worst thing that can happen to a Christian is not persecution, physical injury, or death. In many respects, these are the best things that can happen to us. Jesus said that we are blessed when we are “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:10). Paul decided to “take pleasure in infirmities…for Christ’s sake… For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Jesus said to His followers, “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do” (Luke 12:4). This makes perfect sense, because for the believer, “to be absent from the body” is “to be present with the Lord.” None of these earthly threats should hold any sway over us whatsoever.


Christians are persecuted for the sake of righteousness because of their loyalty to Christ. Real loyalty to Him creates friction in the hearts of those who pay Him only lip service. Loyalty arouses their consciences, and leaves them with only two alternatives: follow Christ, or silence Him. Often their only way of silencing Christ is by silencing His servants. Persecution, in subtle or less subtle forms, is the result.


[In explaining his imprisonment, the Apostle] Paul subtly notifies his readers that proclaiming the mystery of Christ crucified is more likely to open the door to a prison cell for them instead of the door to financial and social success.


Suffering as a Christian is a sign that God is powerfully at work in our lives. Longing for our final redemption, suffering for doing right, and being persecuted for our faith are all evidence that God has begun the good work of making us like Christ. Our suffering consequently becomes a great encouragement to our faith, since those who share in Christ’s sufferings know that they will also share in his resurrection (Matt. 5:11-12; Rom. 8:17; Phil. 3:10).


Even in our time, as the Jewish human rights activist and Hudson Institute scholar Michael Horowitz has observed, "The mounting persecution of Christians eerily parallels the persecution of Jews…during much of Europe’s history."  Worldwide, an average of 159,000 Christians a year are now losing their lives because they believe in Jesus, with 200 million to 250 million believers suffering physical and political persecution, and an additional 400 million not being able to practice their faith freely!  And it is shocking how a scandal of silence has covered up this worldwide persecution of Christians.


Though we mourn this persecution and must resist it vigorously, it is crucial to recognize that such suffering is not the consequence of being out of God’s will but is a direct result of the work of God’s Spirit in the lives of His people.


We are to reflect Christ in all that we say and do. And the Christ of Scripture is the humble, suffering servant who, in spite of great opposition, false accusations, and public ridicule, remained faithful to the heavenly calling.


Christ’s followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had.


Christians are often persecuted not for their Christianity, but for their lack of it. Sometimes they simply have unpleasant personalities. They are rude, insensitive, thoughtless – piously obnoxious. Some are rejected because they are discerned as proud and judgmental. Others are disliked because they are lazy and irresponsible. Either arrogance or incompetence mixed with piety is sure to bring rejection.





The Church of Christ has been founded by shedding its own blood, not that of others; by enduring outrage, not by inflicting it. Persecutions have made it grow; martyrdoms have crowned it.


When a Christian walks irreprovably, his enemies have nowhere to fasten their teeth on him, but are forced to gnaw their own malignant tongues. As it secures the godly, thus to stop the lying mouths of foolish men, so it is as painful to them to be thus stopped, as muzzling is to beasts, and it punishes their malice. And this is a wise Christian’s way, instead of impatiently fretting at the mistakes or willful miscensures of men, to keep still on his calm temper of mind, and upright course of life, and silent innocence; this, as a rock, breaks the waves into foam that roar about it.


If a doctor, able to help, were at the side of a sick person and promised to help him from his trouble and advised him how to combat his ailment or the poison he had taken, and if the sick person knew that the doctor could help him but nonetheless said: Oh, get out, I won’t accept your advice; you are no doctor, but a highwayman; I am not sick, nor have I taken poison; it will not hurt me; and if the sick person wanted to kill the doctor, would you not say that this fellow, who persecuted and wanted to kill his doctor, was not only sick but demented, mad, and irrational as well?… But this spiritual madness – that we do not want to accept help when God’s Son wants to help us – is ten times worse. Should our Lord God not be angry and let hellfire, sulfur, and pitch rain upon such ingrates? For besides being sinners, we are also so wretched as to reject help and chase away and kill those who urge us to accept it.


Being misrepresented, slandered, reviled, persecuted, and wrongfully accused is an inevitable part of being a Christian. We must expect to suffer unjustly. Our lives confront the culture we live in. We live as aliens in the world, and it should not surprise us when the world is hostile toward us (1 John 3:13). We were called for that purpose. In this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). It goes with the territory.


A work that has little opposition from the antagonistic system of Satan is one that is doing little work for the Lord… The devil’s greatest opposition is the Lord’s greatest work.


The history of persecution of God’s people shows that the chief persecutor has been false religion. It is the purveyors of error who are the aggressive enemies of truth, and it is therefore inevitable that, as God’s Word predicts, the final world system of the antichrist will be religious, not secular.


If you have no opposition in the place you serve, you’re serving in the wrong place.


The world has always shown hostility to the message of God – a truth which ought to give some concern to the contemporary church existing for the most part rather comfortably in a world of increasing wickedness.


Patience is the steadfast endurance in the midst of persecution.


It is better to be the accused than the accuser. So much better! Christ Himself took the place of the accused, that hellish place where fingers are pointed, that heartbreaking place of rejection and exclusion. He went there, and He saved us from there. And now, if He leads us to that same place, we are not alone. He comes to us there, with a deeper purpose of redemption which will, sooner or later, win the day.


Here are 10 specific ways you can pray today for members of our persecuted family: 1. Pray they will sense God’s presence (Heb. 13:5). 2. Pray they will know we are praying for them (2 Tim. 1:3). 3. Pray they will experience God’s comfort (2 Thes. 2:16-17). 4. Pray they will see God open doors for evangelism (Col. 4:3). 5. Pray they will boldly share the gospel (Acts 4:29). 6. Pray they will mature in their faith (Col. 1:28-29). 7. Pray they will be granted wisdom in covert ministry work (Acts 9:23-25). 8. Pray they will remain joyful amid suffering (Acts 5:41). 9. Pray they will be able to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt 5:44). 10. Pray they will be deeply rooted in God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17) (Voice of the Martyrs).



The carnal mind is at enmity against God (Rom. 8:7), and the more His children are conformed to His image the more they will bring down upon themselves the spite of His foes. Being “persecuted for righteousness sake” (Mt. 5:10) means being opposed because of right living. Those who perform their Christian duty condemn those who live to please self, and therefore evoke their hatred. This persecution assumes various forms, from annoying and taunting to opposing and tormenting.


We have no reason to be discouraged and cast down, if the religion we profess is not popular, and few agree with us. We must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ … “The gate is narrow.” Repentance, and faith in Christ, and holiness of life have never been fashionable. The true flock of Christ has always been small… This is “the narrow way.” Surely it is better to enter into life eternal with a few, than to go to “destruction” with a great company.


God examineth with trials, the devil examineth with temptations, the world examineth with persecutions.


John reminded the persecuted church in Revelation about the true God “who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1:4). Is there anything greater that we can contemplate than that understanding that God is eternal when facing tribulation? The agony of persecution, the cultural opinions of the day, the world leaders on the scene, all loom so large when the pressure is on us until we take a step back and realize how temporary it all is in the grand scheme of eternity. All of that comes and all of it will go. God and His truth remains – He was and He is and He always will be. The momentary frown of the world can’t replace the eternal smile from God. May we go through life keeping our eyes on Him and our minds heavenward and not on the passing trends and transient existence of this life.


Persecution by the devil, through evil men, allowed by God is ordained to strengthen the church whereby Christ’s lampstand will burn brightly as a holy witness. It always separates the true and false believers. It purges away the chaff from the wheat. It strengthens and refines the true children of God (see Rev. 2:10).


Why can we rejoice in our persecution according to Matthew 5:10-12? 1. Because God told us and we can trust Him at His word even when we must walk by faith and not by sight. 2. Because those who receive persecution and respond this way are identified as citizens in God’s kingdom (Mt. 5:10; cf. Ac. 14:22). 3. Because suffering for Jesus is an unspeakable privilege of having fellowship with the One who suffered so much for us (Phil. 3:10; Ac. 5:40-41, 16:25; Heb. 11:24-25). 4. Because persecution strengthens believers. Throughout history the church is always the strongest when it undergoes persecution. God knows that persecution moves us to leave our comfort zones, be able to better defend our faith, have greater missionary zeal, be more dedicated to personal and group prayer and count the cost with greater intensity. 5. Because persecution results in reward in heaven. To those persecuted, Jesus promised in verse 12, “For your reward in heaven is great.” Only God can take our reproach and dishonor and turn it into praise and glory.



Persecution for being an obnoxious, pompous, sarcastic, self-righteous, argumentative Christian jerk is not suffering for righteousness.


The church is the most important organization in the world. It is the target of every demonic, hostile attack in the universe. Jesus personally guaranteed that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church. He made no guarantee that the gates of hell would not be unleashed against it, however.


The good man has his enemies.  He would not be like his Lord if he had not.  If we were without enemies we might fear that we were not the friends of God, for the friendship of the world is enmity to God.


Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems.


How did Jesus expect His disciples to react under persecution? (In Matthew 5:12 He said), “Rejoice and be glad!” We are not to retaliate like an unbeliever, nor sulk like a child, nor lick our wound in self-pity like a dog, nor just grin a bear it like a Stoic, still less pretend we enjoy it like a masochist. What then? We are to rejoice as a Christian should and even “leap for joy” (Lk. 6:23).


To make converts, we are tempted to play down the difficulties and play up the peace of mind and worldly success enjoyed by those who accept Christ. We will never be completely honest with our hearers until we tell them the blunt truth that, as members of a race of moral rebels, they are in a serious jam, and one they will not get out of easily. If they refuse to repent and believe on Christ, they will most surely perish. If they do turn to Him, the same enemies that crucified Him will try to crucify them.


Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in prison for preaching the gospel. Although his captors smashed four of his vertebrae and either cut or burned 18 holes in his body, they could not defeat him. He testified, “Alone in my cell, cold, hungry, and in rags, I danced for joy every night.” During this time he turned to a fellow prisoner, a man he had led to the Lord before they were arrested, and asked, “Have you any resentment against me that I brought you to Christ?” His response: “I have no words to express my thankfulness that you brought me to the wonderful Savior. I would never have it another way.” These two men exemplify the supernatural joy that can be experienced by believers who live on the edge of death as the result of being severely persecuted.


One would think that [persecution] would be an obstacle to church growth when joining the church meant a death sentence. And yet, the age of persecution was the greatest period of church growth in history.


One of the greatest paradoxes in Christian history is that the church is most pure in times of cultural hostility. When things are easy and good, that is when the church most often goes astray. When Christianity seems identical with the culture and even when the church seems to be enjoying its greatest earthly success, then it is weakest. Conversely, when the church encounters hardship, persecution, and suffering…then it is closest to its crucified Lord, then there are fewer hypocrites and nominal believers among its members, and then the faith of Christians burns most intensely.


Wicked men seem to bear great reverence to the saints departed; they canonize dead saints, but persecute living.


Fasting, rather than fleshly efforts, should be one of our first defenses against “persecution” from family, schoolmates, neighbors, or coworkers because of our faith. Typically we’re tempted to strike back with anger, verbal abuse, counteraccusations, or even legal action. But instead of political maneuvering, gossiping, and imitating the worldly tactics of our enemies, we should appeal to God with fasting for protection and deliverance.


The wicked enemy is so inveterately opposed to the Divine majesty that he would gladly, if it were possible, overturn the throne of God. As he utterly despairs of accomplishing that object, he throws out all his venom against the elect, employs every expedient, and exhausts all his devices to enslave those whom the power of God has torn from his grasp. He assaulted the first Adam in Paradise. He made an attempt on the second Adam in the wilderness, but his efforts were foiled. Disappointed in that expectation, he bends all his attack on those whom Christ has claimed to be his own.


Friendship with Jesus is costly. Faith alone saves, but saving faith is never alone. It is always accompanied by great sacrifices for Christ’s sake.

Recommended Books

The Hiding Place

Corrie ten Boom

We Will Not Be Silenced

Erwin Lutzer

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

John Foxe

The Cost of Discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Intolerance of Tolerance

D.A. Carson

Through Gates of Splendor

Elisabeth Elliot