I believe in seasons. I will even concede that there is a season of rest, and a season for persecution. I am not getting stones thrown at me currently, or fired for my faith, so it's probably safe to say I, personally, am in a season of rest (from persecution).
We are never to rest from proclaiming the worth of God. There is no greater purpose for a Christian. And it will be for that reason that persecution will be, or at least should be, visible in the church throughout these end times. Collectively, we all will not experience persecution or tolerance together. We experience our own seasons as we live out our own faith and because we are not all on the same page, waging battle against the same evil power at the same time, some will find the faith journey as gruesome one moment, and rewarding and victorious the next.
My roommate also mentioned the issue of the Tribulation, where everything is turned up 50 degrees in intensity. I think it goes without saying, because political and economical powers of oppression will be inescapable that persecution will be rampant and unavoidable (unless you recant or compromise the true faith). I'm just saying we should not fear persecution, or think it is optional, or that the integrity of our witness, as adamantly compelled to proclaim Christ as worthy of all glory and praise, is open to debate and dilution.
A diluted faith will not bring about persecution for it does not offend. Do not be afraid of fighting the good fight, or running the race well. The reward is Christ. He is our prize and there is none greater, especially not any rest we might experience if we compromise.