Just because a Christian is famous or wealthy doesn’t mean they haven’t faced spiritual persecution in their life. These 10 Christian names and their stories will inspire you to face your own persecution as you work towards God’s plan for your life.
Ten Most Persecuted Celebrities for Christ
1. Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel is the lead actor starring in The Passion of the Christ. Due to the large role he played in the movie, he now finds it very difficult to find acting work in Hollywood. Mel Gibson actually warned Caviezel that the role would blackball him in the film industry for life. Gibson’s words have become true, as playing the role of Christ has essentially blacklisted Caviezel. However, he finds the fact encouraging rather than discouraging, saying if he were an easily recognized actor, it would take away from the movie’s important message and the image of Christ.
“When you live in holiness, when you really try to stop sinning, you become braver. You become more courageous, you become a man of your word. You become a man of conviction that you’re not willing to sell out and you’re really a true knight in shining armour.” – Jim Caviezel (Source – One Can Happen)
2. Benham Brothers
Twins David and Jason Benham are businessmen, speakers and authors. Their success led to a planned HGTV series intended to premier in 2014. The show, called “Flip It Forward,” would be hosted by the two brothers. However, after receiving condemnation for the two brother’s expressed views on abortion and gay marriage, HGTV canceled the show and fired both brothers.
“Being courageous when nobody is watching sets the stage for being courageous when everybody is watching.” – The Benham brothers
3. Phil Robertson
Most know Phil Robertson as the enigmatic businessman and reality television star from A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.” In multiple interviews with GQ, Robertson likened homosexuality to bestiality, quoting a verse from First Corinthians. After his thoughts were published, A&E suspended Robertson from the show. However, a large following of Robertson supporters came out of the woodwork and A&E ended up lifting the suspension before any further episodes were filmed. However, the Robertson family is still berated in some circles for their conservative views and opinions on sexuality, despite their claims they would never disrespect someone for differing opinions.
“I am just reading what was written over 2000 years ago. Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom. All I did was quote from the scriptures, but they just didn’t know it.” – Phil Robertson
4. Steve Cha
Steve Cha is an actor, speaker and author who was working as an extra on the set of the hit movie Moneyball. After filming was complete, the actor approached Brad Pitt and gave him an evangelistic tract that featured Brad Pitt’s face on the front of a million-dollar bill. Inside, the tract quotes John 3:16 and pleaded with readers to repent from their sins and turn to Christ, and to read their Bibles daily. Brad Pitt was slightly confused but mannerly and Cha dismissed himself, having done his due diligence. However, Cha’s casting company contacted him a few days later, notifying him that they would be dropping him as an actor. Cha had approached a major actor, an action forbidden to extras, and was now blacklisted. He would never find work in Hollywood again.
“Many sinful trends are glorified in our movies, TV shows, and commercials these days. Cursing. Fornication. Adultery. Materialism. Pride. Idolatry. Slander. But one of the vices that is most overlooked, and one that constantly bugs me, is the use of the Lord’s name in vain.” – Steve Cha (Source: Here)
5. Tyson Fury
A professional boxer from Great Britain, Tyson Fury became the heavyweight champion in late 2015 after defeating another long-reigning champion. He was named a finalist for the honor of BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award. However, much controversy surrounded his nomination thanks to Fury’s strong stances on much-debated issues. He spoke out regarding his wishes for homosexuality, abortion and pedophilia to be outlawed in all countries, claiming his views were based on Biblical truth.
“Darkness don’t want to hear about the light. Evil don’t want to hear goodness. That’s my job, to spread the word. That’s what I’m doing. Look at me, how happy I am. I’m absolutely overflowing with joy and happiness for God.” – Tyson Fury (Source – Here)
6. Kirk Cameron
Kirk Cameron may be the most well known Christian celebrity on the market. He began working as a child and acted for seven years on the popular sitcom “Growing Pains.” His sister, Candace Cameron-Bure, also worked in the industry, on another popular sitcom, “Full House.” After a period of atheism in his teens, Cameron converted to Christianity. From this point, he began requesting his acting roles be edited for any mature content. After the shows’ cancelation, he cut off his co-stars and began a new life away from the entertainment industry, as a way to show his devotion towards God.
“The church as a whole has strayed quite far from biblical evangelism; that is, sharing the Gospel in the way that Jesus did, the way the Apostle Paul did, and the rest of the disciples and prophets in Scripture.” – Kirk Cameron (Source – Here)
7. Manny Pacquiao
A politician and world-champion boxer, Manny Pacquiao hails from the Philippines. Early this year, Pacquiao was misquoted as saying that homosexual men should be put to death. However, he later retracted the statement, claiming he did not state those words. The writer of the misguided article agreed, saying Pacquiao never made that statement, and that he himself added those words in. However, Pacquiao does strongly appose legal same-sex marriage. In a television interview this year, he addressed the issue again, likening homosexuals to ‘worse than animals,’ though he later backtracked saying he didn’t condemn homosexuals. Following, Nike terminated its relationship with the boxer.
What I am condemning is the act. I’m happier because I’m telling the truth … It’s worse if we will hide the truth.” – Manny Pacquiao (Source – Here)
8. Brendan Eich
9. Aaron and Melissa Klein
Aaron and Melissa Klein are not well known on their own account, but are due to the controversy surrounding their stance on gay marriage. The couple own Sweet Cakes, a cake shop in Oregon that frequently creates wedding cakes. However, they turned down a client in 2013, blatantly stating that they would never create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. They claimed their rights were protected by the U.S. Constitution, to deny service to any person, so long as their denial was based on religious beliefs. Following harsh criticism, the couple closed their shop and began working out of their home. The court penalized the business for their decision, so the Kleins began a GoFundMe campaign to raise money. They earned over $100,000 before the campaign was shut down by GoFundMe for violating its terms of service.
“It’s strengthened my faith. He can deliver us from it, but if he doesn’t, it’s okay, too. We’ll continue serving him, because the alternative is just out of the question — it’s not an option. We’re going to continue following the Lord regardless of the consequences.” – Aaron Klein (Source – Click here)
10. Daniel and Amy McArthur
Another couple standing together for their religious beliefs, the McArthurs have a similar story to the Kleins. They own Ashers Baking Company, which also frequently caters weddings. They also refused a client based on their belief that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. The Northern Irish family own six baking shops and said that catering to gay weddings would go against their religious beliefs. They were taken to court and the judge ruled their actions as discriminatory, a ruling they still claim is unfair.
“It was clear we did not hate anyone. We didn’t want to discriminate against anyone. We did what we did because of our Christian beliefs. It’s done out of love for God, to obey Him.” – Daniel McArthur (Source – Here)
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:18-19
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” – Matthew 5:11
Celebrities for Christ – Click on the infographics below