Persecution is Happening
Our culture has accepted the idea that religious persecution has been getting less and less common since way back in the early A.D.’s around Nero’s reign. Everyone is familiar with the coliseum and the holocaust, but few realize the extent of persecution going on today. There are 52 nations in which it is illegal to be a Christian, or to gather together to pray and teach. In fact, there is much more persecution done to Christians now than ever before. Here is the story of
More Love to Thee
North Korea. 1950’s
For years, Pastor Kim and 27 of his flock of Korean saints had lived in hand dug tunnels beneath the earth. Then, as communists were building a road, they discovered the Christians living under ground. The officials brought them out before a crowd of 30,000 in the village of Gok San for public trial and execution. They were told, “Deny Christ or you will die.” But they refused. At this point the head communist officer ordered four children from the group sized and had them prepared for hanging. With ropes tied around their small necks, the officer again commanded the parents to deny Christ. Not one of the believers would deny their faith. They told the children, “We will see you soon in heaven.” The children died quietly. The officer then called for a steam roller to be brought in. He forced the Christians to lie on the ground in its path. As its engine revved, they were given one last chance to recant their faith in Jesus. Again they refused. As the steam roller began to inch forward, the Christians began to sing a song they had often sung together. As their bones and bodies were crushed under the pressure of the massive rollers, their lips uttered the words:
“More love to thee, O Christ, more love to thee. Thee alone I seek, more love to thee. Let sorrow do it’s work, more love to thee. Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise. This be the parting cry my heart shall raise; More love, O Christ, to thee.”
The execution was reported in the North Korean press as an act of suppressing superstition.
(Reference: “Jesus Freaks” by DC Talk & Voice of the Martyrs pp. 125.)
A Testimony to Christ
These people were Jesus freaks. Ordinary people who experienced something so powerful, and so life changing, that they were able to stand up against communists, and die a terrible death with peace and even joy. Throughout history, persecutors have been amazed by the love and joy of Christians even in such horrific circumstances. This is a testimony to something greater than human strength, not a mental disorder, not a false hope of eternal life, but the power of God in someone’s life. Christian persecution is alive and well. This particular story was from the 1950’s but I assure you nothing has changed since then. Click on the link below for more information on recent occurrences.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Persecution is Happening