The following excerpt comes from an ICC contact just recently returned to China. Despite working overtime to build a façade of religious freedom, the Chinese government continues to extensively monitor and exert considerable effort to control the growth of Christianity in China. This growth has been explosive, with an oft-quoted statistic that 20,000 Chinese people convert to Christianity every day. While the exact figure isn’t known, there are believed to be as many as 130-150 million Christians in China today. The vast majority of them worship in “house” churches, churches that are not registered with the government and therefore technically illegal. Many of these churches, especially in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, are tolerated by the government and operate without interference.
Crossing the Bridge
A year ago, she walked into our offices with a shy smile that made her eyes glow. As we shook hands I had the deep sense that this woman, who still suffers the effects of Christian persecution today, had a depth of faith that only comes from suffering. Her name is Semsa Aydin, and six years ago this month she became a widow, and her children fatherless, when her husband was brutally murdered for his faith.
There are many stories that do not make it into Christian news today. Among them are the thousands of stories of Christians who suffer persecution for their faith. The fact that Christian persecution still occurs comes as a shock to many believers in the West. Perhaps that’s because it is not often told in Christian news today, but that does not make it any less real.