On a seemingly ordinary day in Glendale, Arizona, a tragic event unfolded that sent shockwaves through the Christian community. Hans Schmidt, a 26-year-old military medic, Christian father of two and outreach director at Victory Chapel, was shot in the head while preaching on a street corner. This horrifying incident occurred around 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 15 near the intersection of 51st Avenue and Peoria.
Schmidt, who had recently moved to Arizona, was promoting a nearby church service when the shooting took place. The injuries were initially thought to be the result of an assault, but medical staff later realized it was a gunshot wound. As of now, Schmidt is hospitalized in critical condition.
The authorities are still investigating the shooting and are seeking tips to identify who was responsible for the attack. It remains unclear whether Schmidt was targeted or if the shooting was a random act of violence. Paul Sanchez, who works nearby, reported that people passing by Schmidt when he was preaching would scream and curse at him.
It’s both interesting and disappointing that, almost two weeks later, local police still have no idea who it was that shot Schmidt. Even more notable is the deafening silence from mainstream (aka regime) media outlets on such a horrific crime.
On Nov. 27, Allie Beth Stuckey remarked on X that “Hans Schmidt was shot in the head last week while preaching on a sidewalk in Glendale, Arizona. Last report I read said he is still in critical condition and the criminal is still at large. An attempted murder for the crime of preaching the gospel. I don’t expect much from our government or media when it comes to the persecution of Christians, of course, but this should be much bigger news. We need justice.”
She’s right — this should be a much bigger story. So why isn’t it?
This entire horrific incident raises a disturbing question: Is this yet another manifestation of a rising tide of anti-Christian sentiment in America?
The answer, unless proven otherwise, appears to be “yes.” Christians are rapidly becoming the most persecuted demographic in America. The godless media and secularists cheer this on — which is why they want to bury any stories that would wake people up to this fact.
Christians are, of course, no strangers to persecution and even being murdered for their faith. Our history is replete with martyrs who were killed for nothing more than the “crime” of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While we can (sadly) expect to hear reports of Christians being violently attacked for sharing their faith around the world in Islamic nations or imprisoned for holding underground church services in China, isn’t America supposed to be a country built on Christian values? One that, from its founding, offered religious freedom to Christians to not only worship but live out their faith in the public square?
Marxism, critical theory, and wokeness (but I repeat myself) have been working overtime to change all that and to drive Christians out of politics, out of public gatherings, and underground. They’ve spun false narratives of “oppressor” vs. “oppressed,” labeled Christians as oppressors, and essentially told two generations that we are “hateful bigots” who “deserve what’s coming to us.” In typically woke cognitive dissonance, they tell us that Christians aren’t being persecuted but it’s good that we are.
Young Hans Schmidt getting shot in the head while sharing the Gospel up-ends their narrative. And it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges that Christians face in America today. While Americans often pride themselves on being a nation that values freedom of religion, incidents like this prove that there is a growing and violent intolerance towards Christian beliefs.
The shooting of Hans Schmidt is a wake-up call for all of us. It’s a call to stand up against intolerance and violence, to defend our Christian and American right to practice our faith, and to ensure that America remains a nation where Christian religious freedom is not just a constitutional right but a lived reality.
We must not let this incident pass unnoticed. We must raise our voices, not just in prayer but in defense of Christians all across our communities. We must work together to ensure that such acts of violence are not repeated — which means that the perpetrator must be found and brought to swift, biblical justice.
In an article at ChurchLeaders.com, Schmidt’s pastor, Gary Marsh, was reported to have told his congregation,
“I know there’s probably folks that are wondering how brother Hans is doing, and unfortunately at this point in time, we don’t have a lot of victory reports to bring on his behalf. He’s struggling, he’s hurting, he’s in [a] serious, serious situation. We’re believing God for a miracle on his behalf. So, keep praying for Hans Schmidt, and let’s keep believing.”
Amen. Let us remember Hans Schmidt and his family in our prayers. Let his story be a reminder of the challenges we face as Christians in an increasingly secular society that hates both Christ and His followers. Our nation needs Jesus — badly.
It’s important to recognize the rising tide of anti-Christian hatred in America, but it’s even more important not to fear it. Remember the words of Jesus, who commanded us in Matthew 10:28 to “not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” In Christ, we know we have nothing to fear from the hands of mortal men, and we have no need to fear the wrath of God because our sins were dealt with at the cross.
To that end, I pray that thousands more young men would be inspired by Hans and step boldly out onto sidewalks in every city, following in his footsteps and proclaiming Christ crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected for the forgiveness of sins.
But given the devils roaming our streets, they will need to be smart about it. Christians can both pray for our enemies, preach the Gospel, and push for changes in our society to roll back this dark and rising tide of anti-Christian persecution.
Because if we don’t, Hans Schmidt won’t be the last victim — he might end up being one of the first.
Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center.
William Wolfe is a visiting fellow with the Center for Renewing America. He served as a senior official in the Trump administration, both as a deputy assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon and a director of legislative affairs at the State Department. Prior to his service in the administration, Wolfe worked for Heritage Action for America, and as a congressional staffer for three different members of Congress, including the former Rep. Dave Brat. He has a B.A. in history from Covenant College, and is finishing his Masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Follow William on Twitter at @William_E_Wolfe