The Point: Defending the Persecuted

Please, stand with the persecuted. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Speaking at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, Vice-President Mike Pence proclaimed that this administration stands with persecuted Christians—and with the persecuted of any faith.

“Throughout the world,” Pence told delegates from 130 countries, “no people of faith today face greater hostility or hatred than followers of Christ.”

These are welcome words coming from the White House. At the Atlantic, Emma Green noted they echo President Trump’s Prayer Breakfast remarks, where he lamented Muslims being “brutalized. . . by ISIS killers,” threats of “extermination against the Jewish people,” and “a campaign of … genocide against Christians.”

With religious freedom on the administration’s radar, now’s a good time to encourage the president to fill the vacant post of ambassador for international religious freedom, to press our allies to protect religious minorities, and to do what we can to help religious refugees.

I’m thankful for the administration’s good words on religious persecution. We now need good deeds as well.

So please, contact the White House at

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • Phoenix1977

    There are a lot of other people persecuted for less, like a gay couple subjected to a public beating with sticks in in Atjeh, Indonesia. Perhaps it would be better to support people who are persecuted for what they are. After all, religion is a choice, your sexual orientation is not.

    • Just one of many voices

      Phoenix, what research have you performed or do you know of that shows this is a choice? I ask not to argue or fight back, but because I enjoy comparing literature.

      Another question, I had an uncle who recently passed. He and his wife raised their own two biological boys together for roughly 15 years. After that, he left his family for another man. What’s the science behind that? If sexual orientation isn’t a choice, was he in complete denial for 15 years? How can one be in denial when he/she is that intimate with the opposite sex?

      Of course, we live in an age of TMI with the internet and all. Ever since I took “research methods” for my master’s degree (physical education), I gotta take all those “studies” and “new research” with a grain of salt. It was quite an eye-opener to the dishonesty of not just media, but even the researchers!

      So on that note, a (childish) response to the effect of, “Well show me the research that says it IS a choice!” will be discarded as not having any research or proof. Likewise, I will continue with my homework on this topic. I would right now, except I’m being paid to work, not to discuss 🙂

      • Phoenix1977

        If religion is not a free choice it’s pretty much indoctrination. I’ll let you decide on that but should you decide against a free choice it means all parents raising their children in a certain religion are in violation of (international) law, since the indoctrination of minors is prohibited under several international treaties.

        It is quite likely your uncle was in complete denial for 15+ years, yes. Or he knew but fought his very nature for all those years. Or he knew and lived a secret life while he was married to your aunt and having kids. Or he saw himself forced to hide his true self because his surroundings would reject / disown / physically hurt him. I don’t know your uncle so, again, you pick the most likely answer. Personally I have witnessed all of the options mentioned above, including beatings so severe the gay man or woman did not survive.

        More and more people are leaving organized religion, clearly stressing it’s a choice. Although there are people who claim to be “ex-gay” the APA reports a 100% relapse in those people who identified as fully gay. The only people who remain “straight” showed interest in the opposite sex before, pretty much making it obvious they were never truly gay but more bisexual. Me, I’m as gay as a three dollar bill and can’t even think straight and, looking back at my youth, teens and puberty, I have always been gay. I know I was born gay and I accept being who and what I am. And I demand being safe from anyone who wishes me harm, including religious conservatives.

        • Just one of many voices

          Wow, quite a story you have there. Lots of details to consider & choose from (pun intended? Sure, hah)

          I must say, from where I sit, if there become countless choices on any given topic, it becomes so gray & foggy with opinions, emotions & personal bias…what IS the point anymore? It’s like a person who is so dizzy, he/she is completely disoriented & has absolutely no sense of direction.

          I’m very sorry to hear you’ve witnessed fatal beatings. That’s awful. I guess I should recognize, though, that my own faith, at one point in its history, called for such fatal beatings for acts as seemingly small as a rebellious child. Also for acts such as a blasphemer, a Sabbath-breaker, and, yes, a homosexual. What do I have to say about that? Well, I can point you to the following link, but I know from former discussion that the Bible has no authority whatsoever in your life. I’ll post it though for others who might be reading. I would also say that, at that point in history, the task of punishment was given to mankind, who we know is VERY flawed when it comes to carrying out such tasks. Now, that task has been given to Jesus who carried it out on the cross, once & for all who would accept.

          Now that we’ve gone astray from “the point” in the original article: that is, a lament for people of various beliefs undergoing persecution. Yes, it emphasized Christianity, but it does mention Muslims & religious refugees at large.

          Thanks for bringing a different perspective for us to ponder.

        • Steve

          Religious conservatives wish you no harm. However, people of faith need to be respected as well. Someone should not be forced to participate in a ceremony that is in opposition to their beliefs no more than you should be forced to be straight.

          • Phoenix1977

            You know very little about my personal history and the harm I had to endure in the name of religion. So perhaps better to refrain from comments like: “Religious conservatives mean you no harm” because it couldn’t have been further from the truth.

    • Steve

      There is plenty of documentation to show that Christians are persecuted more than any other religion. I would suspect that more Christians are persecuted and killed than gays, but any number for either group is wrong. Your example is noted and horrific. Gay people are persecuted because of the religion of the persecutor. The common denominator is Islam as the persecutor of other religions and lifestyles.

      • Phoenix1977

        I truly hate to burst your bubble (even though my comments sometimes seem to say otherwise) but the common denominator is religion, not just Islam.
        Reparative therapy, for example, uses physical violence against gay men and women and is, at least in the US, mostly practised by Christian therapists.
        Christian doctors in the US and Western-Europe performed castrations on gay men to “cure” them until well in the 1970s while the same procedures were virtually unknown of in non-religious hospitals.
        And it’s Christian clergy who advocate “corrective rape” in countries like South-Africa against lesbian women.
        Why do you think the LGBT community is fearful of all religion instead of only Islam? Because we have bad experience with all religion: past, present and, unfortunately, probably also in the future.