Monday, August 18, 2008

China's Evil Repression of Religion

There’s an article today on about four Christians who were bringing 300 Bibles into China to give to Chinese Christians. The Bibles were confiscated, because according to Chinese law it’s illegal to bring religious literature into China unless it’s just enough (= one Bible) for personal use.

Last fall I stayed at the home of a friend who’s been sneaking Bibles into China for years. He told me that maybe one day I’ll visit China with him, and added, “Of course you’ll have to bring a suitcase of Bibles into the country, too. There’s such a need for them, so we use every opportunity to bring them in.”

I also teach at a Chinese seminary in New York City, and at a large Chinese church there. I’ve talked with many Chinese, some who recently feld the country because they were Christians. They have told me firsthand about religious repression and persecution.

For all the beauty of the Olympics before us China remains a very dark place for people who want to worship as they choose. The idea that churches can freely worship if they are registered with the government is a repressive joke. In spite of this there is a flourishing, growing, underground church happening in China right now as I type this. I have photos, e.g., of a church that literally meets underground in a cavern carved out by hands located below a village.

Pray for these real followers of Jesus who dare to follow him in the midst of a nation that wants to repress them.