Religious Persecution: From Imprisonment to Arson


In the last week, Christians have been facing tremendous religious persecution across the United States. On September 23, a congregation in Moscow, Idaho met outside to sing hymns in the parking lot of their local City Hall. Officers shortly showed up to the worship service and began arresting people on the grounds of violating the local mask and social distancing orders.

Five people were arrested, including Gabe Rench, a Latah County Commission Candidate. While officers were detaining him, Rench responded to them saying, "You guys are stronger than this," according to Tré Goins-Phillips with Faith Wire. Todd Starnes put it simply when he stated:
"Did you ever imagine you would see the day when Christians peacefully singing hymns would be arrested and charged with crimes?"
In addition to the arrests, on September 18th, a shirtless, masked man broke into a Catholic church in Tampa, Florida and proceeded to pour flammable liquid on the pews, light the liquid on fire, and flee the scene. The Tampa Bay Times states that police deputies have released the surveillance video, but no one has been able to identify the arsonist, largely due to the covering on his face.

The Crux reported that the local sheriff, Chad Chronister, commented by saying,
"While we are unsure of his motive, it is clear he has no respect for private property or a sacred place of worship...We promise this church community we are doing everything we can to capture this suspect and ensure he is held accountable for his actions."
According to the Catholic News Agency, the pastor of this church, Father Michael Cormier, has responded with encouragement for his congregation saying:
"We have been struck down by this, but not destroyed. In the end, evil never wins...May this terrible act cause us to unify, to love one another more than ever, and to continue to make (our parish) the bedrock of faith and strength it has always been."
There is no doubt that Christians continue to face more and more religious persecution simply for their faith. We are angry and saddened by the continuous oppression, but we have hope from Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:12 says:
"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
We endure, we fight for justice, and we continue to live godly lives, rising from the religious persecution against us.



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