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Persecution and Persistence

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I started reading Persecution by David Limbaugh this week. I realize that the book may be nearly two years old, but as I said earlier, my access to good western books is sometimes limited by my location in Mongolia.
Limbaugh begins the book with dramatic accounts of students across America who have been persecuted for their Christian faith. That persecution took the form of teachers and principals preventing students from praying over lunches, at graduations, forcing them to stop talking about Jesus with friends during recess, and much more. There are many accounts of judges and other officials threatening to arrest and imprison students if they even utter the name of Jesus.
There may not be many Christians in Mongolia, but I may have more religious freedom here than in America.
Reading the accounts in Persecution (which is a tremendous read), brought to mind the time my wife, Diane, and I thought we might be involved with a legal battle to protect our daughter’s right to express her faith. However, our situation turned out very differently.
It was early 1998, Rochele was in first grade at McCoy Elementary School in Orlando, located about 2 miles north of the International Airport. Diane and I were taking part in a parent-teacher conference to go over Rochele’s school work and get a firsthand report from the teacher about what kind of student she was. I was a bit nervous, still feeling raw as a parent, wondering how I would react to a teacher who might want to suppress my kid’s religious freedoms.
The teacher gave us a glowing report of Rochele’s work and behavior, specifically noting how she was not only well behaved, but was often held up to the other students as an example of a hard worker with good behavior. That gave us great pride, though I secretly feared she might become a teacher’s pet geek – which gives you an idea of what I suffered when I was a kid, but that’s a story for another therapy session. I digress.