We were all shocked by the recent beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. The daily news of brutality and death sentences that people are inflicting on others because they do not believe the same way is shocking!
This barbarism is being done in the name of religion. The latest hostile, brutal group on the world scene is ISIS. However religious persecution is not just happening in the Middle East.
We can sit back and condemn this kind of behavior, which is horrific, while overlooking and even condoning the persecution going on in the United States. How can there be religious persecution in the States? We are a free world with “religious freedom,” right? Maybe not!
People are being sued, taken to court, fined, and driven out of business because of their religious beliefs! In the news on Aug. 21, 2014, owners of a family farm in Schaghticoke, New York, were fined $13,000 for refusing to allow a gay wedding ceremony on their property in 2012. A judge ruled in the favor of the gay couple, rejecting the Giffords’ argument that the family owns a private business and is legally permitted to refuse such requests.
Jack Phillips, the owner of “Masterpiece Cakeshop” in Lakewood, Colorado, was sued by a gay couple because he declined to bake a cake for their wedding because of his religious beliefs. He lost the case and was ordered to change his store policies immediately! Philips, along with his staff, was ordered to attend sensitivity training classes. Phillips is also required to submit quarterly reports to the commission to confirm that he has not turned away customers based on their sexual orientation.
Then there are the atheists pushing their agenda by trying to get rid of Bibles in resorts. In an article entitled “Keep that Bible Out of my Room,” an atheist, Buckner, believes that no religious literature should be provided in government-owned lodging, and he presented that concern to management at the Amicalola Falls State Park. He wanted the Bibles removed from the rooms. This time, the case went in the resort owner’s favor as it was not a government sponsored resort. Travelodge has just removed the free Bibles from their hotel rooms.
Religious persecution has been going on since the beginning of time. Our very Savior, Jesus Christ, died a brutal death on the cross, because people did not believe in what He was teaching.
Who is to blame for all this religious persecution? None other than the arch enemy of God and His people, Satan. It will get much worse as Satan seeks and tries to destroy, but God promises protection to those who seek His will. (Rev. 12: 3)
So as you see these things taking place, do not fear but be encouraged: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
A new world is coming as noted in Isaiah: 9:6-7. There will be no more religious persecution! There will be one God and one religion that will be for the good of all mankind.