Posted BY: Raymond Ibrahim
A new study by Lifeway Research found that more than half (54%) of the 1,005 Americans surveyed believe that religious freedom is eroding in the United States. Even more, 59%, said the treatment of Christians and intolerance for their beliefs is getting worse.
“Intolerance is about cultural pushback,” Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, explained. “In the American marketplace of ideas, not all systems of thought are welcomed. The majority of all religions notice this pushback against Christians today.”
What does one make of these statistics? Relevant Magazine — a Christian publication, the tagline of which is “God, lifestyle, and progressive culture” — is a good place to start. Responding to these findings in a recent article, it gets it right by arguing that, whatever Christians in America may be experiencing, they are certainly not being persecuted the way their counterparts are in other nations and parts of the world:
[C]onservative Christian groups [in America] have a lot to celebrate. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and delivered a big win to Christians who want to pray in public schools. These are big, historic decisions and they don’t square with a narrative of diminishing religious liberty for Christians.
This is especially true on the global scale. Open Doors USA’s World Watch List keeps track of the countries where it’s most dangerous to be a Christian, and the stories on their meticulously detailed database are heartbreaking. Christians in places like Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia can be imprisoned, tortured and even killed for their faith. …
Persecution against Christians is real and we should be talking more about it. But it’s not what the American Church is facing, and conflating what’s happening in other countries with online backlash and political spats in the U.S. does a disservice to that conversation.