An example of blatant religious persecution at the government level can be seen in a proposal by the newly elected ruling political party in Canada. The Coalition Avenir Quebec – a nationalist political party – has recently won a majority mandate in the Canadian system of two-party rule. Flexing their newly won political might, the Coalition Avenir Quebec declared that government employees should cease wearing religious symbols on their clothing while at work. This policy extends to judges, prosecutors, police officers, and teachers. Employees failing to comply with this ruling would lose their job. The ruling states, “Religious signs will be prohibited for all persons in position of authority, including teachers.”
Canadian Officials Divided on Issue
Given the nature of Canada’s two-party system many decisions create division among officials. The newly elected Coalition Avenir Quebec leader François Legault claims the provision is merely to ensure neutrality. “[W]e want to make sure that a policeman or a policewoman doesn’t show a religious sign in case the man or woman in front of him is from another religion,” he said. However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has gone on record condemning the rule. Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa, “The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is there to protect our rights and freedoms, obviously,” adding “it's not something that should be done lightly because to remove or avoid defending the fundamental rights of Canadians, I think it's something with which you have to pay careful attention,” he said. Interestingly, many are pointing out a glaring hypocrisy with the new law. While employees will be prohibited from wearing the Jewish kippah, the Muslim hijab, the Sikh turban, or the Christian cross while on the job the Coalition Avenir Quebec has stated that it will not remove the crucifix that has hung over the speaker’s chair in the province’s legislature for over 80 years. Legault insists that this cross is a cultural symbol, not a religious one.
Relevant Bible Passages
The Bible clearly teaches that Christian persecution will continue to increases as we draw closer to the end times. Jesus warned in Matthew 10:22 that Christians “shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (KJV). One could easily see how the new ruling by the Coalition Avenir Quebec is an example of persecution. This type of oppression shouldn’t surprise us. We should be challenged yet encouraged to persevere through such persecution as the Lord told us that the truly faithful will “endureth to the end” (Matt 10:22).