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Question: Why do Persecution Mobs Happen?

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Acts 19:27 – 34

There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.” When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front, and they shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

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In summary, Demetrius, the silversmith, stirred-up the other silversmiths against Paul and his teachings. In turn, silversmiths stirred up the whole city. They forcefully took Paul’s companions, Gaius and Aristarchus, to the theater. Paul’s friends convince Paul to not go to the theater. The Jew, Alexander, speaks against Paul to the crowd. Upon learning that Alexander was a Jew, the crowd begins chanting, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.

When people feel threatened that they could lose their way of life, it can quickly turn into a frightening-confusing mob. The silversmiths of Paul’s day were worried that they were going to lose their living and lose their god. They begin chanting and the next thing you know the whole town turns into a mob. They apprehended Paul’s companions, and they dragged them to the theater.

Below is a youtube video of a mob surrounding Christians in Texas. Be warned, this video is disturbing. Thank God that nobody was hurt and that police were onsite.

Nobody was hurt in the above Texas video, but unfortunately, this was not the case in Orissa, India. These two videos speak of a mob who persecuted the church in Orrisa, India.

Listen to the reasons for the mob in the videos. It is a fear of change. The Gospel and the ways of God can be offensive to unbelievers. Beware, the world just may not be ready for the good news.

God Bless, Bob

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