I have always enjoyed the Summer Olympics. For one, I love summer in general. For two, I participate in more of the featured summer sports than the winter sports, so it tends to hold my interest. Thirdly, who would pass up the opportunity to watch the leading country of the free world dominate fine athletes from all over the world compete for their respective countries?
This year’s Olympics are being held in Beijing, China. As many of you know (or maybe not) China holds the world’s largest underground Christian church in the world. And yes, contrary to the liberal reports from both the US and Chinese media, the Chinese government actively persecutes these “troublemakers” and “insurgents”. Due to the worldwide attention China is receiving because of their role as host country, the number and intensity of these government-sanctioned attacks on Christians have increased dramatically. For example, on July 2 a pastor and his family were attacked and evicted from their home by the Chinese government:
According to CAA, “The Chinese government has expressed its intentions to either detain [the pastor] until September 30, a date well after the Olympics, or to remove [the pastor] and his family completely out of Beijing during the Games. The Chinese government had branded [the pastor] and other human rights and religious activists as ‘troublemakers’ and is adamant about keeping such people from attending the Games in August.”
Why is the Chinese government so afraid of Christians? Why are they so intent on making sure none of our brothers and sisters are present at the Games? Could they be afraid of the publicity these “illegal Christians” might receive? After all, China is supposed to be a successful and united country led by a strong and understanding Communist dictator (what a front). The idea of one of the leading economic giants of the world oppressing free speech and the free practice of religion with such obtrusive and abusive means might rub a lot of people the wrong way, be they Christian or not.
I hope my unskilled and unpolished writings have at least sparked your curiosity in the condition of the persecuted in not only China, but around the world. I get a majority of my information from a non-profit organization named The Voice Of The Martyrs. They send out a free monthly newsletter and a weekly Prayer &News Update that you can optionally receive after creating an account. More specifically, they currently have a Special Offer running right now to encourage prayer for China during the Olympic Games. Check it out, get a group together and order in bulk. I’m going to try and talk to my college group in Memphis this weekend about ordering a bunch of these and distributing them around the church and community.