The experience of persecution is a very prominent foundation experiences that any true disciple of Christ will pass through. Once a person puts on new life in Christ, evidenced by a transformed character, new thoughts, new interests and ambition, new friendship and fellowship, the next thing that naturally and usually follows is persecution.
According to the dictionary, to persecute is to punish, treat somebody cruelly, especially because of religious beliefs, allow no peace to somebody, worry somebody. The Bible agrees with this definition and adds much more.
Persecution is sometimes called tribulation in the Bible (eg. Jn. 16:33; Acts 14:22). This however is distinct from “the great tribulation” spoken of by our Lord Jesus Christ, which also was revealed to Apostle John the beloved (Mtt. 24:15-22; Rev. 6:3-8).
Persecution as a foundation Christian experience is therefore that harsh treatment meted out to believers as a result of their new found faith in Christ, and or new life in Christ, which may not be acceptable or compatible to those of their friends, relatives, neighbours and business/other associates (Act. 9:20-25).