The breakout group session from our combined church camp. In this session, Matt Hall, asked the campers to discuss some following questions in light of the first session from the camp.
The questions addressed were:
- How would you describe persecution?
- Where do you know that persecution against the church exists today, and what form(s) does it take?
- In countries where religious persecution takes place believers were aligned to a tribe or nationality, and when they become Christians it can be perceived as a fundamental rejection of those around them. How do you think they might be treated or responded to as a result of their new belief and community?
- Consider one of these case studies:
- To be Indian, or to be Nepalese, is to be Hindu. A man in India became a Christian: he and his family had to leave his village because no one would employ him.
- There is a heartbreaking story of a little boy in a south central Asian country on his first day at school. His parents were florists and he arrived with a bucket of flowers for the teacher. The head called him to the front of the class and he thought he was going to be thanked for the flowers; instead the head tipped them out and stamped on them, saying: ‘This boy is a Christian; no one is to speak to him.’
Discuss one of the case studies as a group and share your response.
(Note: While its incidents of violence where Christians are injured or murdered that make the headlines, the lower-level discrimination Christians face daily can have severe consequences. There can be verbal abuse, lack of access to employment, or a Christian might lose out on promotion to a senior role. In rural settings access to the village well might be prohibited – and even to a graveyard, resulting in Christians having to carry their dead for miles before they can find a place to be buried).
- Do you think persecution leads to a growth in the church? Do you think nominalism leads to a decline in the church? Please give a basis for your understanding?