Summary: By the Holy Spirit’s power you can stand for Jesus
Stand for the Name; Mark 14:27-31, 66-72; 3rd Lent; 3rd of 7 in “All for You” series; The Promise; 3-19-06; Darryl Bell
Stories of Persecuted Christians:
1. Police raided Ma Yuqin’s rural home (in China), arresting her, her son, daughter-in-law and a visiting female believer, leaving only her 5-year-old grandson by himself. After refusing to deny their faith and divulge other Christians’ names, Ma and her son were electrically shocked and nearly beaten to death in adjacent rooms so they would hear each other’s screams and relent. Hearing her son was more agonizing than her own physical torture. Their visiting friend, Yu Zhongju, was beaten to death in custody.
Interviews and prison reports taken at this time confirm dozens of house-church members were bludgeoned with clubs, jolted with cattle prods and burned with cigarettes. After fainting from the torture, they were doused with water to regain con-sciousness. During interrogations, male prisoners’ fingers were trampled and women were stripped naked and abused. (Voice Of the Martyrs, Feb, 06, p. 5).
2. In Pakistan eighteen-year-old Mohan Shazad grew up making bricks for less than a dollar a day. To free himself from that near-slavery, he began selling Christian literature to the brick kiln workers.
“Late last September as Mohan was riding his bike home from a day of selling literature, two men whose faces were cov-ered with black scarves jumped out of a sugar cane field onto the road. Mohan abruptly stopped his bicycle to avoid a colli-sion. One of the assailants pointed a pistol at Mohan. The other wielded an axe. They demanded Mohan stop distributing the Christian literature. When he refused, one of the attackers swung the axe at Mohan, slicing into his flesh and severing his left arm. The assailants fled as Mohan lay on the road bleeding, writhing in pain.
“Help arrived, and Mohan was taken to a nearby hospital. There was little the inexperienced and ill-equipped doctors could do to reattach his left arm.” There followed months of inade-quate medical care, infection, rehospitalization, and then some help from a Christian ministry to get the medical care he needed.
“Mohan told us he plans to resume his Christian literature distribution activities and will find a way to continue the work God has called him to do. ‘I have lost my one arm; even if they cut (off) my other body parts, I am ready for that. I will carry on with my work even if death is the result. Building the Lord’s kingdom is the mission of my life.” (VOM, Mar, 06, p. 6).
3. In China police and Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers raided the home of a Christian we’ll call “Ling.” “When the offi-cers entered, they found ample amounts of contraband: Bibles, Christian literature, … and other Christian materials. But what was more troubling in their eyes than the large stash of Chris-tian materials was the evidence it provided: The materials were being produced inside China, not brought in from the outside.
“The interrogation began instantly, right at the house: ‘Where did these things come from? Who are you working with? Who provides financial help?’
“Ling was surrounded, but he was not afraid. The ques-tions kept coming, the voices growing louder and more strin-gent; and he sat silently, refusing to provide any information that would lead the officers to his Christian co-workers.
“His silence did not satisfy them; they demanded an-swers. He continued to refuse. They placed his hand on a table and held it down. One by one his fingernails were pulled out—all 10 of them.
“Even in the agony of his physical pain, this brave brother would not deny his Father, and he would not betray his brothers and sisters. The year was 2001. He was forced to spend three years in a ‘re-education through labor’ camp, beaten and burned with cigarettes, yet he still refused to deny his faith. Late in 2004, he was released. The ‘re-education’ efforts had failed” (VOM, special issue, 2006, p. 4).
4. “Paul Idris, a Sudanese Christian, was running from the Muslim militias. He was captured and held in a concentration camp where he was tortured before being taken to prison in Khartoum. In agony in the detention camp, Paul refused to deny Jesus Christ when his Muslim torturers demanded, ‘Give up this Jesus.’ When he continued to claim Jesus, his tormenters took polyethylene sheets of plastic and burned them, dripping hot plastic on his naked back. The torture was repeated many times during the month he was in prison. Now (he is) back home in the South… Paul’s father was killed during the Muslim inva-sions; he cannot find his brothers and sisters who are on the run, but his mother is alive, living in another area.
“Five million Sudanese Christians have lost their homes and possessions and remain ‘refugees’ in their own country.” (VOM, special issue, 2006, p. 10).