John 16:23 says, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God's service. And these things will they do unto you because they have not known the Father nor Me." Does those verses strike a cord? We hope it does. And we hope that the picture on the left does too!
In fact, that's what's really going on. Jesus warned of perilous times when people who will persecute the true followers of Jesus Christ will think they are doing it for the greater glory of God. The Apostles were victims of it and then later, the Christians. Reading through the Book of Acts, the Pharisees thought that by removing the Christians, they did God a favor. Let's think about it- the Pharisees murdered the Lord Jesus Christ thinking that they were doing God a favor by rejecting His Son whom they counted as a blasphemer. Of course, Jesus allowed it to happen so all sins will be paid regardless BUT the difference is that they continued to reject Him so they could not be forgiven of their sins because they refused to be forgiven and Jesus was more than willing to forgive them of what they did to Him. They continued to reject Jesus Christ as the only Way to Heaven and continued to try and establish their own righteousness.
So here's a GREAT issue- religious wars are going on and they think they're doing God a great favor. They are nothing more than godless, Christless activities that are frequently lumped together by the world with soulwinning and evangelism but there is always a difference. The difference is that true Christians as much as they criticize other religions for being false (it's because they want people to KNOW the truth) are NEVER allowed to force their doctrines on those who refuse. On the other hand, these godless religious wars are usually taught by their religion (ex. Catholicism and Islam, sadly many of them DO NOT EVEN KNOW IT!) The greatest victims of the religious wars are Christians. Christians will always be hated by the world because they are not of the word (John 15:18-21 plus while these godless men claim to know God, they DO NOT and it's revealed by action (Titus 1:16).
A really notorious example should be the Roman Catholic institution as she does it through the Crusades, the Inquisition established by the Dominicans and the Jesuit order. While they called themselves doing the cause of God, their actions prove otherwise. The whole movement not only targeted other infidels but also the true believers in Jesus Christ, the Christians. History has recorded in Foxe's Book of Martyrs the atrocities done against Christian groups such as the Baptists, Anabaptists, Mennonites, Evangelicals, Waldenses and the Presbyterian groups were persecuted, tortured through various means and for what? Simple- because they upheld Biblical truths of faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, in Jesus Christ alone and glory to God alone also known as the five Solas and for sharing the Scriptures with commoners without the permission of the Papal courts. The activities of these born again Christian groups caused people to be freed from the lies, not seeking fame or fortune but rather that God be glorified. They thought they were doing God a favor but they weren't- it's because they were killing people who were preaching the Gospel truth to the people.
Today, it will still continue. More Christians will be killed in the Name of the God they serve. However like in the Dark Ages, the more Christianity was persecuted, the more it grew instead.