Jesus warned his followers that following him would come with a price. Because of him, he claimed, the rest of the world would despise Christians. Almost immediately after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, he was subjected to persecution. The first Christian martyr was Stephen, an early church administrator. Five years after Jesus’ crucifixion, he was stoned to death. Peter, Andrew, and James were among those martyred for their Christian beliefs. Christians were routinely persecuted under Nero, the Roman emperor. However, this resulted in the growth of the Christian faith.

Throughout the ages, many Christians have paid a high price for their beliefs. In many parts of the world where Christianity is viewed as a threat, there is still a lot of violence against Christians. Some are fired or demoted, while others are exiled from their families. For others, however, the price is much higher: imprisonment, torture, or even death.