It became clear in our interviews [of persecuted believers] that the ultimate goal of the persecutors is always to deny people access to Jesus… As strange (and as horrifying) as it sounds, we came to realize that believers could be unwittingly complicity with the persecutors by simply refusing to share their faith.  Just like persecution, the refusal to share the faith denies people access to Jesus.”  (p 29)

When we witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we identify with those in chains.  When we refuse to witness, we identify with those who place the chains on followers of Jesus.  With which group do we wish to identify?” (p. 29)

“Believers in persecution remind us of a possible lie inherent in Western Christian cultures.  We sometimes thank God that we live in countries where we are “free to worship.”  It is interesting that public prayers are rarely uttered thanking God that we are “free to witness”!  Significantly, witnessing to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has little to do with political freedom.  Believers are as free to share Jesus in Saudi Arabia as they are in St. Louis.  Believers are as free to share Jesus in Somalia as they are in Kentucky.

Being a witness for Jesus has little to do with political freedom.  On the contrary, our willingness to witness has everything to do with obedience and courage.

We can easily convince ourselves that being a positive witness for Jesus is a matter of political freedom.  In truth, however, being a positive witness for Jesus is a simple matter of obedience and courage.” (p 30-31)

The Insanity of Obedience, Nik Ripken