SEATTLE, WA—Local man John Woodland went into his favorite local coffee shop to pick up a cappuccino on the way to work this morning. He thought he was just going to get a cup o' joe—but he got much more than that.
Woodland instead had a life-changing experience. He received a small taste of what the persecuted church in places like China is going through—the joy of being persecuted for his faith in Jesus Christ.
The man purchased his beverage, smiled, and began to walk away when the barista assaulted him for his Christian faith, saying, "Happy holidays!" He then smiled and uttered a quiet prayer for those who were persecuting him.
"You hear about persecution around the world, but you just never think it's going to happen to you," Woodland told Voice of the Martyrs. "I really know what those Chinese Christians are going through: hiding in fear for their jobs, their families, their livelihood."
He acknowledged that the experience isn't exactly the same.
"Persecution over here is probably a little bit tougher," he said. "Having to grimace and pretend to appreciate it when someone tells you 'happy holidays'—that's the Holy Spirit working through me. No way could I do that by my own power."
If you'd like to support the persecuted church in America, you can donate to various persecuted church organizations to help believers like Woodland weather increasingly ruthless "Happy Holidays" attacks throughout the Christmas season.