‘Be Prepared for Religious Persecution’: VP Pence Delivers Commencement Address at Liberty University, by Nancy Flory

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By Nancy Flory, an Associate Editor, The Stream, May 14, 2019

Nancy Flory“We live in a time when the freedom of religion is under assault,” Vice President Mike Pence told the 2019 graduating class of Liberty University Saturday. “Yesterday, I was informed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that today Christians suffer more persecution around the world than any other religion. In fact, the United Kingdom released a report just last week that said persecution of Christians worldwide is ‘near genocide levels.’” 

A Warning

Pence told the graduating Class of 2019 that they were well-prepared by the education they received from Liberty. Then he warned them of what was to come. 

My message to all of you in the Class of 2019 is — derives of the moment that we’re living in today. You know, throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian. It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.

But things are different now. Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs. So as you go about your daily life, just be ready. Because you’re going to be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith; you’re going to be asked to endorse them. You’re going to be asked to bow down to the idols of the popular culture.

In the Fire

Pence told the Class of 2019 that they will face opposition, but that Jesus will be with them. “As you strive for greatness, know that you’ll face challenges, you’ll face opposition. But just know this: If, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you end up in the fire, there’ll be another in the fire.”

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He encouraged the group to have faith in themselves, their education and the principles and ideals they learned at Liberty. Most of all, have faith in God. “Have faith that He Who brought you this far will never leave you, nor forsake you, because He never will.

Watch Pence’s full commencement speech:



Nancy is an Associate Editor at The Stream. She is currently working toward her PhD in Strategic Communication and Journalism at Regent University. She’s the mother of four boys.