One should rightly ask: Who's persecuting whom, and just exactly how can anyone be sure that, as 1 Peter 4 puts it:
From Psalm 94:
1O LORD, you God of vengeance,
you God of vengeance, shine forth!2Rise up, O judge of the earth;
give to the proud what they deserve!3O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?
Thus far, in the reading, there is no definition of the "proud" for whom the Psalmist wishes judgment.
But the Psalmist doesn't leave us hanging:4They pour out their arrogant words;
all the evildoers boast.5They crush your people, O LORD,
and afflict your heritage.6They kill the widow and the stranger,
they murder the orphan,7and they say, "The LORD does not see;
the God of Jacob does not perceive."
Who are the proud?
They are identified by their deeds:
They kill the widow, the stranger and murder the orphan.
Reminiscent of Jesus when he warms against those "who take widow's houses and then say long prayers" … the very same who then prance around the Temple Treasury throwing in large sums of money out of their "spare change" while creating a system that takes the last few pennies a widow has to live on (Mark 12.38-44).
The widow, the stranger, the orphan - the three most vulnerable social categories of Israel - victims of wealthy interests (for a devastating critique on those "who borrow and never pay back," spend some time with Psalm 37).
What systems in our land create hardship for "the widow, the stranger and the orphan"?
What would the Psalmist says about Food Stamps, Social Security, health care, pensions, children in poverty, crushing debt for college students and a host of other burdens created by the wealthy to game the system in their favor, and why would Christians cheer any of their nefarious schemes in the light of Scripture?
Such Christians, when criticized, are quick to label themselves "persecuted." But I would label them "dupes of the wealthy," many of them, like the widow Jesus notes at the end of Mark 13 - a victim of some of kind of "prosperity message"? - give your last penny to "god," and miracles will come your way. Even as she gave her pennies, she was standing beside the wealthy who perhaps congratulated her, smiled at her, for her faithfulness even as they schemed to take her house.
Evangelical Christianity has been short on compassion for a long time now, a victim of a misconstrued gospel mostly the tool of the powerful to further their own vested interests even as they "say long prayers" or have others do it for them.
For Scripture, then, there is is a litmus test: the wellbeing of the "widow, the stranger and the orphan," and how well society cares for them!
It is what we own to one another (Romans 13.8-10).