Wishing for persecution?


  • Gordon L. Heath


Evangelicalism, North American, persecution, church growth, early church, martyrdom


This article identifies four myths associated with the wishing for persecution that is frequently a part of North American evangelicalism. The argument developed is that besides being naïve and completely out-of-touch with the reality of persecution, wishing for persecution is unbiblical. What is even more sobering is that the history of Christianity indicates that the arrival of persecution could be a disaster and lead to the church’s complete eradication in a particular geographical region.

Author Biography

Gordon L. Heath

Gordon L. Heath (*1964) is associate professor of Christian history at McMaster Divinity College, and also serves as Director of the Canadian Baptist Archives. He received his PhD. from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. His publications include ‘A war with a silver lining: Canadian Protestant churches and the South African War, 1899-1902’ (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2009), ‘Doing church history: a user-friendly introduction to researching the history of Christianity’ (Clements 2008), and ‘The lost Gospel of Judas: separating fact from fiction’ (Eerdmans 2007). He is an ordained minister with the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches.