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China’s Christians set an example

A shift in worldview allows for a grateful attitude.  |  Thecla Li / THE CHIMES 

 

Recently, I had a discussion with a girl in my small group. Her name is Minji and she had just joined our church upon coming back from studying abroad in China for a year.

She spoke of their underground church, and the way they worshipped quietly, in the dark, in secret, and how amazing it felt to be back in America, in a place where we can worship at the top of our lungs and pray in the open.

I was hit with a spirit of gratitude.

She went on to share about the strange feeling of seeing our pastor preaching from a stage, as their church’s pastor had been imprisoned, and the congregation had not seen him in over a year.

We forget the blessings we have here in America.

THE ILLEGAL BIBLE

In many eastern countries, professing Christianity and carrying a Bible remain illegal. In China, a 58-year-old member of a house church was tortured, interrogated and eventually died after living in a labor camp for three years, according to Eternal Perspective Ministries.

Within the last century, there were over 26 million cases of martyrdom documented across the globe. Further, it has been estimated that 150,000 to 165,000 Christians are martyred each year.

However, while “stories like this are common in China… persecution has increased church growth rather than discourage it,” according to an Eternal Ministries article.

The article also discusses how Christians living in China often prepare to evangelize with three points in mind:

“(1) Never turn down an invitation to preach;

(2) Look for a place to run when you are finished preaching;

(3) Be ready to die that day."

Given these deadly and furiously intimidating circumstances, it seems impossible that the numbers of Christ-followers in China have in fact grown.

LET THE CHURCH GROW

Why is it that in the United States, and even on Biola’s campus, we do not take advantage of our freedom? We grow comfortable and forget that we live and go to school in a country where worshipping on the lawn, in our dorms, in coffee-shops and on the streets is not punishable by imprisonment or death. We forget to relish in God’s grace, but stories like Minji’s put everything into focus. Americans often focus on the wrongdoings of our nation. While there are so many injustices and so many terrible occurrences of violence here, it is sobering to remember that there are countries in which we would not be allowed to even utter the name of Jesus, let alone praise Him openly.

 

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