Often we hear tell of the persecuted church in countries where either the government or society in general does not tolerate the Christian faith. These occurrences will often include tales of imprisonment, torture and even martyrdom. When a believer is face to face with extreme persecution, there can be no middle ground. Either that person will have to renounce their faith or suffer the consequences. Christ calls us to rejoice when we suffer for His name's sake.
When the underground Church in China begins discipling new believers, they first take the time to prepare these new converts for suffering. (See this article by Todd Nettleton) Given the context of that culture, this only makes sense. But what about other cultural contexts? What do we teach new believers in a country where persecution exists, yet in a milder form? This is a situation that is experienced in Thailand where I serve.