“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” (Tertullian, died about 240 A.D.)
For 2000 years, whenever anti-Christian government has persecuted Christ’s Church, Christianity has grown. This is also true in modern China.
In the last half-decade official opposition to the Church has become more public in China.But wherever persecution has grown, courageous Christians have stepped forward to resist.
“It’s a blessing to go to prison, to suffer for Jesus,” says Rev. C. The quote comes from a Time Magazine article. The magazine abbreviated his name to protect his true identify.
According to ChinaAid,
- communist officials in the Henan area have hired local gangs to break into churches and gathering places. In the attacks, they have broken doors and windows, as well as confiscated seating and religious books.
- large numbers of church attendees and pastors have been kidnapped and detained by unidentified men.
- since early February, local public security bureaus and religious affairs bureaus have started targeting house church members with threats and fines.
- A new initiative explicitly forbids any kind of religious gatherings in people’s homes. Anyone caught attending or hosting meetings outside of a registered religious venue will be subject to a fine of 30,000 yuan (U.S. $4,700). All Christians in the area have been ordered to join an officially registered church.
“By clamping down on it, the Communist Party has multiplied it,” Carsten Vala, chair of the political science department at Loyola University, told Time. “Protestants have arguably created the most sustained structural challenges to the Chinese Communist Party’s ordering of society.”
Rev. C. predicts that soon 20-25 percent of China could be Christian. At that point, he says, “the Communist Party will not be able to handle it. With Christianity [there will be] morals, ethics, just laws and a will to enforce it. Only Christianity can change this country.”
Churchleaders.com observes, “Undoubtedly, that is the government’s biggest fear.”
We do well to pray for Christians in China following the promises in Psalm 121:4-8, “He who watches over Israel will not slumber. He will not sleep. The Lord watches over you. The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will watch to keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your going and your coming from now to eternity” (EHV).
Additional examples of religious persecution