Is it persecution? That question came as a result of hard work and conscientious effort of adjudicatories, and Presidents of our Church bodies, that led to the Governor of Minnesota to back off on church restrictions. That is a great story to be told but for the offering of my humble opinion.
I do believe that what is happening today is a form of persecution. I do believe a certain party sees government as standing in the place of God. The idea that government assigns rights and duties is of course abhorrent to the Bill of Rights. Our Creator gives us the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our Creator gives us religious liberty, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of assembly, and of course, for our church, the assembling of ourselves together is not only important, it is the glue that binds the body of Christ together as Christ gathers that body and enlightens it by the power of his Holy Spirit. The powers that be believe they are the enlightened. We gather to receive Gods gifts and they believe they are the giver of gifts.
Our attorney general has made it quite clear that he believes some of the measures taken against the Covid virus have amounted to “house arrest” and he has alluded to the closing of churches as being irreconcilable with the constitution.
What makes our situation today so interesting is that the very people who years ago rebelled against the church because it was laying heavy burdens on peoples consciences, making them feel guilty about who they were, and shaming them into compliance to a patriarchal system of faith, are the same people who are now laying heavy burdens on peoples consciences, making a feel guilty about what they do and shaming them into compliance. They took the wonderful compassion and mercy that Christians want to show, and turned it into a club to keep them from leaving their homes and even visiting with the neighbors that they were supposed to be so concerned about.
There is so much about this that is perverse it is going to take some time to sort it out among ourselves theologically and sociologically.