Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jesus loved me so much - that he sent me to prison

"A house church leader in China who has been arrested seven times and spent years in jails, prisons and labor camps In his particular "house group," which is composed of over 6 million believers, they use New Testament scriptures to teach that persecution can be a normal part of the Christian experience. Today he teaches in caves, factories, fields and apartments, mostly leading seven-week courses broken up one week at a time to avoid detection. House churches, which do not permit censorship of their sermons, are growing three times faster than the state TSPM church.

"I asked this house church leader how his imprisonments have affected his teaching sessions, and, as he ate a piece of melon with his chopsticks, he replied, "Jesus loved me so much that he sent me to prison."

(from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, January 2012)

In August of 2011 another leader, Shi Enhao, deputy leader of the Chinese House Church Alliance (CHCA), was sentenced to two years of “re-education through labor” – a sentence that requires no trial or conviction, according to the China Aid Association (CAA).

Shi was officially charged with holding “illegal meetings and illegal organizing of venues for religious meetings,” due to his leadership of a house church movement of several thousand people meeting in several venues around Beijing,

(from House Church Alliance Leader in China Sentenced to Labor Camp, Compass Direct News, July 29, 2011)

In the West the church often struggles with shrinking membership rolls; not so in China. The house church movement in China is experiencing exponential growth. According to the communist government, Christianity would endanger national security by destroying the “present balance between religions” in China, since house churches resist government control and persist in “illegal Christian evangelism.”

(from China House Church Alliance Leader Sentenced to Labor Camp, Open Doors, August 4, 2011)

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