I will never forget something that was told to me back in 1983 when I was saved. I was attending a home group and the Bible teacher said to us:
“The Christians who must go underground to worship in China are praying for the Christians in America. They are saying that the persecution of believers in China is causing them to draw closer to God and His Word, and they are evangelizing the lost like never before. The reason that they are praying so hard for us here in America, is that they know that the distractions and freedoms we enjoy will cause complacency, and many will fall away or become prey for heretical teaching.”
When I think about this now, in light of the mainline churches becoming apostate; and the many mega-churches which corrupt the Word of God – it sends chills up my spine. I believe that what the persecuted church said about America was prophetic.
Xi Jinping and his Hatred for Christians
Xi Jinping of China has a hatred of Christians that has not been seen in China since the reign of Mao Tse-tung. And now, since Xi has declared himself ruler for life in China, nothing short of a revolution will change the hateful regard for Christians by the Chinese government.
China President Xi Jinping thinks churches are ‘severe national security THREAT’
CHINA’S President Xi Jinping has been accused of having “particular animosity” against Christians in the country and sees underground churches as a “severe national security threat” as the communist state continues to crack down on how citizens practice the religion, the leader of a Christian persecution group has warned.
The outburst came from China Aid founder Bob Fu, when speaking during a discussion on religious oppression sponsored by the Heritage Foundation in the US, claimed Mr Xi sees the rise of Christianity as a threat to his rule.
There are now more than 38 million Protestants in China but according to Mr Fu, the number of persecuted Christians in the country over the course of just 12 months has “dramatically increased”.
“The number of people we documented who are persecuted among just Christians alone last year reached 223,000 compared to these 48,000 in 2016.”
The China Aid founder said “persecution will only help accelerate the growth” of the faithful, noting that even the number of Christians “who worship at the government churches” has also risen significantly.
Mr Fu said: ”You can see that he [Xi] has particular animosity against Christianity in particular,” acknowledging that the communist regime has identified “underground churches” as a “severe national security threat”.
He added that in efforts to better control religion, Beijing is forcing churches to install facial recognition systems to identify those who attend services.
“Every church is forced to install face recognition systems and every church building … is forced to put a sign [up] banning children, students, civil servants, military personnel, and communist party members from entering.
Mr Xi has cracked down on Christianity and asserted state control over religion, having previously said that “all religions must be Chinese-orientated”.
Last month, Christians were placed under house arrest as the Communist government continued to crack down on churches in an Easter purge.
Authorities imposed an effective ban on Christian gatherings with police requiring Christians to report where they are going every time they leave their home in the Henan province.
During Easter, China removed sales of the Bible from online stores having previously only allowed for the holy book to be distributed and printed by state-sanctioned churches.
Chinese Catholic bishops are not appointed by the Pope, stemming from a breakdown in relations between Beijing and the Vatican in 1951. – source
Much thanks to my sister in Christ Rebecca Clark for this:
Her words to me:
“Now that he has declared himself a ruler for life, Xi is going full tilt against Christianity, and I feel that this is only the beginning. You know how bad it has become when the liberal Miami Herald decries it in its paper!”
And I could not agree more that for the “Liberal” Miami Herald to post this story; it has to be REALLY bad!
Christian heartland opens window into fight for China’s soul
The 62-year-old Chinese shopkeeper had waited nearly his entire adult life to see his dream of building a church come true — a brick house with a sunny courtyard and spacious hall with room for 200 believers.
But in March, about a dozen police officers and local officials suddenly showed up at the church on his property and made the frightened congregants disperse. They ordered that the cross, a painting of the Last Supper and Bible verse calligraphy be taken down. And they demanded that all services stop until each person along with the church itself was registered with the government, said the shopkeeper, Guo, who gave his last name only from fear of retribution.
Without warning, Guo and his neighbors in China’s Christian heartland province of Henan had found themselves on the front lines of an ambitious new effort by the officially atheist ruling Communist Party to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in the country.
Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.
A dozen Chinese Protestants interviewed by the Associated Press described gatherings that were raided, interrogations and surveillance, and one pastor said hundreds of his congregants were questioned individually about their faith. Like Guo, the majority requested that their names be partly or fully withheld because they feared punishment from authorities.
“Chinese leaders have always been suspicious of the political challenge or threat that Christianity poses to the Communist regime,” said Xi Lian, a scholar of Christianity in China at Duke University. “Under Xi, this fear of Western infiltration has intensified and gained a prominence that we haven’t seen for a long time.”
Officials once largely tolerated the unregistered Protestant house churches that sprang up independent of the official Christian Council, clamping down on some while allowing others to grow. But this year they have taken a tougher approach that relies partly on “thought reform” — a phrase for political indoctrination. Last November, Christian residents of a rural township in southeast Jiangxi province were persuaded to replace posters of the cross and Jesus Christ inside their homes with portraits of Xi, a local official said.
“Through our thought reform, they’ve voluntarily done it,” Qi Yan, a member of the township party committee, told the AP by phone. “The move is aimed at Christian families in poverty, and we educated them to believe in science and not in superstition, making them believe in the party.”
The poster campaign appears to symbolize what analysts see as the underlying force driving the change in the party’s approach to religion: the ascendance of Xi.
“Xi is a closet Maoist — he is very anxious about thought control,” said Willy Lam, a Chinese politics expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “He definitely does not want people to be faithful members of the church, because then people would profess their allegiance to the church rather than to the party, or more exactly, to Xi himself.”
Various state and local officials declined repeated requests to comment. But in 2016, Xi explicitly warned against the perceived foreign threats tied to faith, telling a religion conference: “We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means.”
Those who resist pay the price. After Jin Mingri, a prominent pastor who leads Zion Church in Beijing, refused local authorities’ request to install surveillance cameras inside his house church, police individually questioned hundreds of members of the 1,500-person congregation, he said. The congregants faced veiled threats, Jin said, and many were asked to sign a pledge promising to leave Zion, which the government agents called illegal, politically incorrect and a cult. Some people lost their jobs or were evicted from rented apartments because police intimidated their bosses and landlords.
“A lot of our flock are terrified by the pressure that the government is putting on them,” he said. “It’s painful to think that in our own country’s capital, we must pay so dearly just to practice our faith.”
In Zhengzhou, Henan’s capital, all that is left of one house church is shattered glass, tangled wires and torn hymnbooks, strewn among the rubble of a knocked-down wall. Pegged to another wall is a single wooden cross, still intact.
The church inside a commercial building had served about 100 believers for years. But in late January, nearly 60 officials from the local religion department and police station appeared without warning. Armed with electric saws, they demolished the church, confiscated Bibles and computers and held a handful of young worshippers — including a 14-year-old girl — at a police station for more than 10 hours, according to a church leader.
Even Protestant churches already registered with the state have not been spared greater restrictions. When reporters visited five such churches in Henan this June, all bore notices at their entrances stating that minors and party members were not allowed inside. A banner above one church door exhorted members to “implement the basic direction of the party’s religious work.” Another church erected a Chinese flag at the foot of its steps.
Guo’s brick house was largely deserted this summer. Around the door frame, tattered red outlines remained of a scroll that once read “God’s love is as deep as the sea.”
Inside, Guo has refused to remove the cross and other decorations, telling authorities they are within his private property.
Among them, pinned to a wall in the nave, is a bright blue poster that quotes China’s constitutional promise of religious freedom. source
Brethren, there is legislation pending in California to outlaw the Bible in that state. I believe that if the Democrats are victorious in the mid terms and take back the White House in 2020, we are going to see persecution like we never could have imagined in America.
But I remind the reader to go back to the beginning of this article. You will see clearly that our God uses the persecution of His saints to bring revival. I believe that this is the only way that a revival will happen in our country.
Will we have to go underground to worship? Probably.
Will be be arrested for hate speech? Most likely.
Will the Bible be banned across America? I believe that it will.
Will Christianity flourish underground and revert back to Sound Bible Based teaching? MOST DEFINITELY!
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Jesus was not speaking in the aforementioned passage of Scripture about the coming “Tribulation.” He was speaking about the constant battles and persecutions against us in this world which is not our home.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).
We have not been persecuted to the degree of being incarcerated or killed in America – not yet. And please do not think that I am saying that this will definitely happen to us .
But keep this in your hearts that the persecution which our brethren are suffering in China presently; God will use to grow His body there – not just in number, but in deep spiritual discernment of the Word of God.
Pray for our brethren in China as they pray for us!