What is important to note is what these Christians were, or are, being persecuted for -- their faith and belief in Jesus Christ, and Christ alone.But what is she implying? Simply this: that if Christians in the United States are experiencing any difficulty it isn’t because of ‘their faith and belief in Jesus Christ,’ but because of their involvement in causes that Timbol defines as oppressive. She writes:
Understanding that, it is reprehensible how many American Christians have recently claimed that they too are being "persecuted." Not for proclaiming a faith in Jesus Christ, but for supporting causes and issues that Jesus never said a word on. Specifically, some Christians are claiming that their religious freedom is being infringed, and they're facing persecution, because they aren't able to vocally support oppression toward homosexuals without facing opposition.So Timbol’s posting isn’t really about Christian persecution or even Christians in America claiming to be persecuted. It is instead about Christians insisting that same gender sex is sinful. Timbol misunderstands: faith in Christ is not divorced from discipleship or the authority of God’s word. Proclaiming and living out Christian faith isn’t disconnected from the real world. And sexual sin is one of the areas where Christians have had to stand for Christ even if it meant suffering.
Church history is full of stories of faithful Christians suffering because of such conflict with rulers and laws. John the Baptist died because he accused Herod of disobeying the biblical law when he married his brother’s wife. The first large persecution of Christians happened because an unsavory ruler, who dabbled in all kinds of perverse sin including sexual sin, which included marrying someone of the same sex, accused the Christians of burning down half of Rome.
Another early Christian leader was killed when he advised a Christian lady to leave her husband since the husband was insisting she participate in orgies with him and the servants. The leader did confess to being a Christian and was put to death for that reason, but he was accused of being a Christian because he encouraged the lady to leave her husband for the sake of purity. (Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History152-53)
There is a strong possibility that early Christians in the Church at Thyatira suffered poverty because they were unable to participate in the guilds which would have exposed them to both idolatry and “sexual Looseness.” (Leon Morris, Revelation: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)
Some of the early Christian martyrs of Uganda were killed because they refused to participate in same gender sex with the king. But politics and the king’s ego were also a part of the mix. It is a very rare event for a Christian to be killed or suffer for simply insisting with their voice that Jesus is Lord—one’s life must also proclaim Jesus is Lord.
Many orthodox Christians in the mainline denominations find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have compassion and love for those in the LGBT community desiring that they should be transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but at the same time they must be faithful to the Lord. It is extremely disheartening to watch denominations be torn apart and destroyed by those who are failing to obey both biblical standards and the confessions of the church. So the Christian is called to love and to be firm in their faith at the same time.
It is probably redundant to say that Timbol simply doesn’t understand the implications of what it means to be a Christian. As I write this I am thinking of Eric Metaxas, the author of the recent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Metaxas clearly understands that Christian faith both proclaims Christ and lives out that faith in a public witness. Bonhoeffer died as a Christian, but he suffered in prison because he helped Jews to escape across the borders of Germany into Switzerland; he suffered death because he was part of a plot to kill Hitler.
To just be reminded of how one loves those who are tearing up the church and yet witnesses in faithfulness about the Lord, here is the speech given by Metaxas at the recent prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. The first part is funny--but wait!
 There are many links on the internet with information about the martyrs, all slightly different and all interesting. Here is another link The Uganda Martyrs.