Printed In China
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you;” (John 15:20a)
Not too long ago I watched a video on YouTube where an underground church in China had received a box of bibles in their language. The recipients were grabbing bibles, sniffing them, holding them to their chests and wailing in tears of jubilation. They had the Word of God!
Christians in China suffer some of the worst abuses and persecution of religious freedom. China is ranked 33 on the World Watch List; a global survey based on a comprehensive scoring system that measures the degree of freedom Christians have to live out their faith in five spheres of life – private, family, community, national and church life – plus a sixth sphere measuring levels of violence. In China church meetings are disrupted or stopped, crosses forcibly removed and people imprisoned or worse. Despite the persecution, Protestant Christianity has been the fastest growing religion in China. Fenggang Yang, Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Center of Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University estimates that China could become the largest Christian nation in the world by 2050.
This year I received a new 2016 prayer journal. Each page has a scripture verse or a quote from theologians and biblical scholars. On the first page, bottom left are these words: Printed in China. The very country persecuting Christians is producing one quarter of all printed Bibles.
I could not help but rejoice and thank the Lord Jesus for His creativity and power to bring His Word to places that reject the mercy, grace and redemptive power that Christ affords all of us at the cross. The very Word of God is being printed in publishing houses where workers can see pages of scripture and find God’s word in the most unlikely of places. We must continue to earnestly pray for our brothers and sisters suffering persecution. And we must never become so Westernized that we neglect the great gift we have in our freedom to read, study, and share the Word of God to a persecuted world. Let us boldly run the race set before us, considering what Christ has endured, that we will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Father let us not grow weary sharing the truth and redemptive power of the cross as we shine forth the power of Jesus. May we cherish and hold close to our hearts Your very Word and never neglect the privilege and responsibility we have to be Your ambassadors to a darkened world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.