Heys @AlphaOmega, that is a good question though perhaps a sensitive one indeed.
A good approach that I tend to use is to understand the “Why” behind the question is asked, rather than just focusing on just the “What” of the question. That is because behind every belief / question / statement, is a person who has latched on to certain values or understanding which unfortunately results them in having this POV.
As I do not know the full context of the conversation, it can either be:
Like what @SeanO shared, “Who is giving voice to the Christians?”
“Why should persecution be religion based? It should not even happen regardless of religion.”
I guess it is fortunate (and unfortunate at the same time) that the spotlight is on radicals that claim to do the bidding of Islam. Furthermore, with all that is recently happening between Israel and Palestine isn’t making it any better. As a result, any killings done by them is amplified to the whole world. However, the reverse is true as well, that any injustice done to them, is also broadcasted to everyone. In a weird way, it is like the saying, “Any publicity is good publicity nonetheless.”
In relation to persecution, it seems that the Christian faith is facing a very different persecution as compared to the Islamic faith.
The Christian faith deals with accusations of sexual abuse; or being too rich; or claims of erroneous theology. On the other hand, the Islamic faith deals more with extremists (and maybe others, but I am not that well informed of their current affairs).
While I can’t speak much for the Islamic faith, the Christian faith is persecuted because we believe in Christ. I don’t believe it is a cost for accepting Him as our Lord and Saviour, but it is a result of being in this world and not of this world. The bible never ever says that you will not go through difficult times.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:8)
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)
A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. (Psalm 91:7-16)
All these passages speak of the problems you will face (heat, fiery dart, fall). It doesn’t say that we won’t face problems in your Christian walk. But the good news is that it speaks of breakthroughs despite having these issues (does not fear, quench, shall not come near you).
Just thought I’d offer a different perspective on this matter.