Under China’s totalitarian government, people can now join a Christian Church as long as that Church registers with the government. Many Western Christians are fooled into thinking that the Chinese are now free to believe whatever they want but not quite. They’re free to believe what they want as long as the government approves.
Called the “Three-Self Patriotic Movement” all Churches must register and be approved for service times, locations and who is allowed to preach. Any Church that’s not registered gets harassed by government agents and some members are arrested and imprisoned while denied human rights. Despite the persecution, millions of Chinese are believing in Jesus and facing the hate.
Most of us in this present day and age can’t stand to be uncomfortable for a few minutes. We come unglued if our flight gets delayed or we get stuck in traffic for a few hours. What would we do if we faced imprisonment, torture and death for our faith? A better question to ask is, What will we do when we face imprisonment, torture and death for our faith in Jesus? What will we do?
Jesus told us to get on our cruise ships and follow him. No, He said we must pick up our crosses and follow Him (Luke 14:27, Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34). “Cross” doesn’t refer to getting stuck in an elevator with a loud mouth and miss an important luncheon. The cross means a tortuous death! The Bible tells us that we must suffer (2 Titus 2:3) and we’re blessed when others persecute us (Matthew 5:11-12). Does that make you feel good?
The next time we get hurt and upset because the boss moved our desk away from the window (that really happened) we could take a moment to think of modern day martyrs. Bounchan lost his job as a Communist Party district leader in Laos. Soon, he was imprisoned, tortured, starved, locked in stocks and placed in solitary confinement for more than 10 years! His crime – telling others about Jesus.
Today, I was watching TV and a man talked about how the Western Christians are not supporting Middle Eastern Christians. I thought, “What Middle Eastern Christians?” On the internet, I found an article written exactly 1 year ago today! Is God saying something?
A modern Coptic monastery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“We who preach diversity and make sure our Muslim brothers and sisters feel safe can miss this real persecution because we’ve spent so much of our lives focusing on civil – as opposed to religious – rights. And so we really don’t pay much attention to the cries of Christians in the Middle East.”