Christians in the Crosshairs: Persecution in the Bible and Around the World Today

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About the Author: 
Gregory C. Cochran

Gregory C. Cochran (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as Associate Professor of Theology in the School of Christian Ministries at California Baptist University, as well as the director of the Applied Theology program. He has written many articles on persecution and hosts a popular blog at

An insightful and (surprisingly) encouraging biblical explanation as to why trouble and persecution are inevitable for Christians. Since they are a peculiar people, and since they in the world but not of the world, and since they follow a Master who is offensive to many, Christians are naturally the objects of disdain and hostility. Understanding the nature of the enmity between the world and the Christian is critical for living in a world where Satan is its prince.

“My hope for all who read this volume,” writes the author, “is a strengthened faith. One of the most surprising aspects of studying persecution has been its effect on me. I thought I would be dour and woeful—defeated—after hearing of great suffering. The opposite is true. The gospel—with its resurrection power—is able to take the worst situations and reframe them in victory. Hearing stories of triumph through suffering has been nothing short of glorious. Studying persecution biblically has led to the same conclusion. The gospel is truly the power of God to salvation for all who believe. Studying persecution has encouraged stronger faith. My hope is that this book will have such an effect for you as you consider what the Scriptures teach about persecution.”


“Finally, a book has been written to speak for those needing a voice in the American church. In this book, Greg Cochran has done a superb job of addressing Christian persecution throughout the world in a way that is clear, well-researched, biblically sound, and practically insightful. No one will be able to read this book and be unmoved by the author's powerful call to prioritize the persecuted for Christ around the world. Read this book!  I dare you. Just know that you will not be the same after.”

—Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church (Louisville, KY); Founder, Practical Shepherding (; Senior Fellow, Church Revitalization Center, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Greg Cochran is my friend and he was my pastor for nine years. He has given more thought to the issue of the persecuted church than any other one hundred Christians I know combined. This book is a distillation of much of that thought. If you’re skimming this endorsement to determine if you want to read the book, please allow me to offer a suggestion. Read the story of Sister Yuen in the Introduction. If that doesn’t open your heart to be concerned about the issue discussed in this book then you should pray for the Lord to help you with your hardness of heart.”

—Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality; The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (

“Persecution lies in the context of much of the Scriptures, and persecution emerges as a significant theme throughout the biblical story. Persecution also remains the daily reality for millions of Christians, and is in some sense the experience of all Christians. Christians in the Crosshairs: Persecution in the Bible and around the World Today sheds biblical, theological, missional, and practical light on this difficult but awe-inspiring theme of persecution. Clear, edifying, thoughtful, and mature, this book is based on years of research, teaching, pastoral ministry, and praying about persecution. Even more, it is important for understanding the Bible, persecution, the church, our mission, the culture, and ourselves.”

—Chris Morgan, Dean and Professor of Theology; California Baptist University


Here is a favorable review in Books at a Glance


Introduction: Why This Book on Christian Persecution?

Part 1: The Meaning and Magnitude of Christian Persecution

1. Toward a Definition of Christian Persecution and Martyrdom      

2. Christian Persecution Around the World Today

Part 2: The Biblical Portrait of Persecution

3.  The Genesis of Persecution and Martyrdom: Abel or Stephen?         

4.  Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed Are the Persecuted"          

5.  The Gospel of Mark: Following Jesus Comes at High Cost    

6.  Luke and Acts: Persecution in Salvation History and the Early Church          

7.  Paul's Letters: The Righteousness of Christ Enflames Persecution           

8.  The Book of Hebrews: A Call to Remember the Persecuted   

9. Peter’s Epistles: Persecution and the Blessed Life

10. John’s Writings: "Idolspizing" and Vindication

Part 3:  The Implications and Practical Applications

11. The Presence of Christ: The Source and Comfort of Persecution 

12. Ministry to the Persecuted Church: Why It Should Be the Top Soical Justice Concern for the Church

13. You Can Make a Difference