Let the Bible define "persecution" for faith in Christ, not subjective human opinions.
It is certainly true the "suffering unto death" is the most severe "persecution" for our faith, but it is NOT appropriate to belittle other forms of persecution by saying, "that is not persecution", just because someone did not bleed or die.
This was NOT the point that the writer of Hebrews was making in chapter twelve, verse 4, saying: "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."
In fact, John 5:16 clearly lists unjust criticism, slander and verbal abuse as a form of "persecution" most commonly leveled against a faithful servant of God, when it says Jesus was "persecuted" in this specific way, (yet with no outward violent action taken against Him).
Persecution, according to the Bible, has many levels that may crescendo in violence and death, but much persecution occurred against Jesus for several years before anyone physically harmed Him with violence. When you diminish the pain of persecution against other Christians just because they did not bleed, you are diminishing the pain Jesus endured for many years before He bled.
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