From a symbol of resistance and hope, a pastor who galvanized thousands of Zimbabweans into anti-government action has become a subject of derision, fighting accusations of being a coward.
CHR Comment: Pastor Evan Mawarire’s decision to leave Zimbabwe, where he had launched social media campaigns raising issues of leadership, is causing discussion of whether one should retreat when facing persecution. This is an old question, going back to the early years of Christianity when government and local mob persecutions often took the lives of believers. Early Christians argued both sides of the issue, whether to stay and suffer persecution or to flee and continue to serve in a new place and way.
Below is a link to the writings of Athanasius who fled persecution and shares his thoughts on the issues. The second link is to a treatise by Tertullian, who discouraged flight from persecution.