How to Handle Workplace Persecution as a Catholic Professional

How to Handle Workplace Persecution as a Catholic Professional

As Catholics, following Christ is the most central part of our life, guiding our beliefs, values, and actions. This doesn’t stop at the workplace. However, in the modern secular culture, it’s not uncommon to encounter co-workers who may hold misconceptions about, or even openly persecute, the Catholic Church. As the Church faces increased persecution, Catholic professionals will only have to deal with this reality more and more. In these situations, it’s crucial to respond with wisdom, grace, and a deep commitment to our faith. In this article, we will explore what to do as a Catholic professional when a co-worker persecutes the Church.

Identify and Pray

The first step in addressing any issue is recognizing it. Persecution of the Catholic Church in the workplace can manifest in various ways, from casual derogatory comments to more overt forms of discrimination. Identifying these actions is the initial and crucial step in responding effectively, while also avoiding unnecessary escalation.

As Catholics, prayer needs to be our first response to adversity. When faced with persecution, remember the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” Take a moment to reflect on this passage and consider the opportunity for spiritual growth that persecution presents. Never forget, no matter how difficult the situation, God can bring goodness and beauty out of it.

Rejoice and Be Glad

For this reason, we can actually rejoice when a co-worker persecutes the Catholic Church. While it may seem counterintuitive, our faith encourages us to find joy in persecution, not for the persecution itself, but for the strength and conviction it demonstrates in our beliefs. Of course, though, we should always do so with the hope that the other has a conversion of heart. As Jesus says we are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Mt. 5:44). When a co-worker persecutes our Church, we should remember to pray for them. These prayers can lead to a change of heart or a deeper understanding of our faith.

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. (Mt. 5:44)

Praying for someone who persecutes the Church involves seeking guidance on whether to engage with your co-worker regarding the issue or not. It is crucial to take a moment to discern if the situation requires a direct confrontation or if it is wiser to turn the other cheek and let go of minor provocations. The Holy Spirit will be your guide here, and prayer can help illuminate the best path forward.

Engaging the Person

If, guided by prayer, the Holy Spirit leads you to engage, approach the person with a spirit of love, truth, and joy. Workplace evangelization can be challenging, but sometimes this is what the Lord asks of us. It’s essential that when we engage someone who persecutes the Catholic Church that we try to follow St. Paul’s command in Ephesians to live the truth in love (Ep. 4:15). Here are a few tips on how to live the truth in love in these conversations:

  • Truth: When discussing your Catholic faith, ensure that your statements are rooted in the teachings of the Church. Grounding your perspective in the truth not only strengthens your position but also demonstrates the depth of your faith and understanding.
  • Love: As Catholics, we are called to approach all encounters with love and compassion. Remember 1 Corinthians 13:2, “If I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.” Let love guide your words and actions during the conversation.
  • Joy: Maintain a joyful disposition during the conversation. This doesn’t mean you have to be overly cheerful, but rather, approach the dialogue with a sense of inner peace and confidence in the Lord. Your joy can serve as a powerful testimony to the positive impact of Catholicism.


Dealing with co-worker persecution of the Catholic Church can be challenging, but as Catholics, we have the tools of faith and love at our disposal. By identifying the persecution and praying, striving to rejoice in the face of abuse, and engaging with the person from a place of truth, love, and joy, you can navigate these situations with grace. Remember that your actions not only defend your faith but also witness to the goodness of the Church. Your response may help your workplace become friendlier to Catholicism, convert a co-worker, or just strengthen your own faith. Either way, when we respond with love and truth to the persecution of the Church from a co-worker, we are doing the Lord’s will.

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