The “poor of Christ”, the “poor of Lyon” or, simply, the “brothers” never called themselves “Waldenses” until they joined the Reformation. The derisive appellative was given to them by their persecutors, after the name of the man who consolidated the doctrine of the community.
A movement so alive and distinct from the imperial cults, as Christianity was, could not fail to attract the attention of temple servants, intellectuals, and officials.
It takes a brave man to stand up to a dictator and perhaps an even braver one to stand up to his church. Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been held up as a hero of the cause of justice and equality, and a statesman of modern Christian theology. For some readers, these two things might not seem a natural fit. But for Bonhoeffer, the two things weren’t just parallels on paper but a singular guide for life.
One in seven Christians is a victim of persecution worldwide and one in sixteen Christians dies every day for their faith, according to a report published by the Open Doors organization, revealing that Christian persecution has reached the highest level in the last three decades.
Even though we have been in a much better place for 700 years now, we know that the passing of time has not eliminated the instinct of persecution from human nature.