The short answer is “Yes, all the time.”
The not as short answer is: “Yes, Christians in America are persecuted, but not as frequently, consistently, or with nearly the intensity that Christians are persecuted in many other parts of the world.”
For a longer answer, keep reading.
What’s In a Word
I understand why non-Christians would say Christians in this country are not persecuted. It doesn’t help their cause to make martyrs of rank and file evangelicals. And besides, many secular people still think the Christian Right is intent on instituting a theocracy and punishing all infidels. Persecution is hardly in their purview.
I also understand why progressive Christians would say Christians in this country are not persecuted. Christians on the left are apt to see evangelicals as the meanies, not secularists. Progressive Christians hold to a narrative that blames conservatives for instigating the culture war and driving young people from the church. Persecution is not the problem; intransigence is. Progressives long for the day when—if we would just beat our fundamentalist spears into NPR pruning hooks—our churches would be full of Christian activists attuned to the sensitivities of our cultural despisers.
I even understand why many conservative Christians are reticent to use the p-word to describe our troubles. We think of persecution as church bombings and physical violence—the sort of stuff our brothers and sisters in North Africa and the Middle East and in parts of Asia face every day. We understand, rightly, that getting a forced hiatus from Duck Dynasty is not exactly suffering on the same scale. If persecution means “there’s a decent chance this year that someone will try to kill me or a family member for being Christians” then no, we are not persecuted in this country.