“This makes me think that Christianity is even more true as persecution is expected for Christians and this is yet more evidence as verifying its truth.”
Human beings have “suffered” at each otherʼs hands for as long as human beings have had hands. “Suffering” for almost any conceivable reason, including “suffering for the Gospel,” is therefore not unique. Throughout history and in fields of human endeavor as diverse as religion, politics, science, art, and education, great minds have suffered at the hands of little minds; great hearts and souls have suffered at the hands of the heartless and the soulless; obstinate hearts, minds and souls have suffered at the hands of equally obstinate hearts, minds and souls. Those inflicting the suffering often thought they were “right” to do so. And those experiencing it took succor in believing that their faith, or ideas, or actions, were “right.”
Speaking of non-Christians who have suffered: Jews have suffered for over a thousand years at the hands of Babylonians,Greeks, Romans, Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Moslems, and Germans. Which reminds me of the Jewish story of a rabbi facing the Inquisition, who was asked to deny his faith. He asked for time to think it over. The next morning he said, “I will not become a Catholic, but I have a last request - before Iʼm burnt at the stake my tongue should be cut out for not replying at once. To such a question ‘No!’ was the only answer.”
Christian antisemitism has been the cause of much Jewish suffering over the past 1900 years. And, like the modern day disavowal of the importance of pro-slavery Biblical passages, most of todayʼs Christians disavow the importance of anti-Jewish New Testament passages, which is certainly an improvement over the past. Still, neither the antisemitic passages, nor the pro-slavery passages, have been erased from the Bible, and some people continue to find such passages “divinely inspired.” According to the author of Antisemitism in the New Testament, “Nearly every book in the New Testament expresses slander and contempt for Jews. Most Christians have maintained that the New Testament is not anti-Jewish but that antisemitism arose as a result of the misunderstanding of it. Examination of the contents of the New Testament does not support this claim.”
And what about the religion known as “Bahaism?” It began when the Persian holy man, Ali Muhammad (1819-1850) set out to reform Islam and bring people back to the worship of a purely spiritual God (not unlike how Jesus set out to reform the Judaism of his day). His movement caused much religious ferment. This led to his execution in 1850 by order of the Shahʼs chief minister and at the instigation of Muslim clerics who saw his movement as a threat to orthodox Islam. Besides Ali Muhammad, 20,000 of his followers were martyred for their beliefs. Yet the “Bahai” religion survived, and it has communities in 205 countries.”
The early Mormons were persecuted by the “orthodox” Christian majority, and the founder of Mormonism was killed by a mob. Yet that religion continues to do quite well.
And what about agnostics, atheists, “heretical” Christians and “heretical” Muslims, all of whom have suffered at the hands of “orthodox” Christians and “orthodox” Muslims for daring to speak and publish their “blasphemous” or “heretical” ideas? Christians and Muslims have publicly burnt the books of their critics, so that even today, the words of Christianityʼs earliest critics only survive in the form of excerpts in the works of their Christian opponents. In colonial America, there were laws that made “blasphemy” a crime punishable by death. Even up till the early 1900s, the authors of “blasphemous” literature in Great Britain and America could be put on trial, fined, and/or imprisoned for their “crime.” Some Muslims still view “blasphemy and heresy” as crimes deserving the death penalty.
As I said above, human beings have “suffered” at each otherʼs hands for as long as human beings have had hands. “Suffering” for almost any conceivable reason and belief is therefore not unique.
Moreover, the blood of the martyrs did nothing to keep Islam from taking over North Africa, a major Christian stronghold in Africa, out of which Augustine and Ambrose and Origin and other church fathers, bishops, and leaders dominated.
Nor did those Christians martyred in Japan keep the Buddhist religion from remaining dominant. You see, the blood of martyrs is not always the seed of the church. Rival religions and political systems can overpower Christianity. In fact, Islamʼs rise was swifter than Christianityʼs. And so was communismʼs. And after the fall of communism as a political system, it has still left behind billions of agnostics and atheists.