These scriptures are always worth remembering:
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
I've always focused on those first few verses (10-12), without seeing the connection to the subsequent verses. If you keep reading, you see that regardless of the possibility of persecution (which in the eyes of Jesus will be worth it, as those people will be "blessed", inherit the "kingdom of heaven", have "reward in heaven", and we will be considered as are the ancient biblical prophets. Something to "rejoice and be glad" about, we are to remain the salt of the earth (especially in these days) and to remain as the "light of the world."
Also, as that light, it should be in display, and shining before men in "such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
After considering these scriptures, an inspirational article like this shows up:
In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country’s civil war.
Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 12.3 meters (40 feet) tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 32 meters (105 feet), organizers of the project estimate.
That the statue made it to Syria and went up without incident on Oct. 14 is remarkable. The project took eight years and was set back by the civil war that followed the March 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad.
Christians and other minorities are all targets in the conflict, and the statue’s safety is by no means guaranteed. It stands among villages where some fighters, linked to al-Qaeda, have little sympathy for Christians.