Bible Verses about Persecution

Compiled by The BibleStudyTools Staff on 08/23/2019

What does the Bible say about Persecution? Discover the top Bible verses about Persecution from the Old and New Testaments. Read through the biblical references of Persecution to learn more about its meaning and significance. May you find some insight from these related scripture quotes!

To find the full context of shorter scripture quotes, click on "Chapter" above each verse.

1 And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
Matthew 5:44
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
2 Corinthians 12:10
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him—
17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.
21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel
30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.
Romans 8:37 - More Than Conquerors
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.
20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.
21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.
23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.
3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—
38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
13 And so you will bear testimony to me.
14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
17 Everyone will hate you because of me.
18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.
12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!
9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.
12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.
36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—
38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.
7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him.
9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.
10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.
14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.
17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.
18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.
19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed. Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest
2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.
14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.
9 I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.
12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.