It’s hard to find a biblical model of public protesting. Unlike modern Western democracies, public protesting against Babylonian, Persian or Roman policies was pointless and likely resulted in swift punishment…such as a trip to the lion’s den.
As I preach on Daniel, it’s hard not to think of the lion’s den and Daniel’s form of protesting that helped put him there.
While many Jewish exiles were relocated back to their homeland (Daniel 6), Daniel remained an influential part of Persian society (vv.6:1–3), which made his political rivals jealous. Knowing Daniel’s devotion to God, they convinced King Darius to establish a law mandating that only prayers offered to him would be legal (vv.6-9).
Daniel’s open refusal to comply with the new law can be misunderstood as a public protest. When Daniel prayed to God, he was not instigating confrontation with Persian authorities, he was just continuing his established pattern of faithful prayer to God.
I’m not saying that public demonstrations can never be a form of Christian witness, but Daniel shows us how consistent, disciplined discipleship is our best testimony against any ungodly demands of the state. Daniel was recognized by his enemies for his disciplined prayer life, so when that was outlawed he was easy to find.
How well do we stand out?