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The COVID-19 Test of Religious Freedom

What does the COVID-19 response in America reveal about the final persecution of faithful Christians? How should we prepare for that time?

By Conrad Vine

Persecution is the norm in the world; it is not the exception. The persecution of Christians, regardless of the brand of Christianity, is very real today.One of the most important lessons we must teach new believers in certain Asian and African countries is that they will face persecution.

It is human nature to persecute minorities that don’t agree with the dominant narrative. Theoretically, Americans have freedoms today; but we would be naïve to believe persecution could never happen here. And because of this, the Free Church needs to learn lessons from the Persecuted Church. 

Let’s start with some historical context. Prior to the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Czarist Russia was in a state of cultural and philosophical flux. The influence of the Bible was eclipsed as the Russian Orthodox Church struggled to compete with the onslaught of modernity. For a generation, competing philosophers, priests, and

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About the author

Adapted with permission from a presentation by Dr. Conrad Vine, who has served on four continents in numerous capacities from international relief work to pastoral ministry. He is now president of Adventist Frontier Missions.