Asking questions got a Chinese pastor a year in jail

Chinese authorities aren’t known for accepting criticism very well. That may be why a Christian pastor was recently jailed for a year just for asking questions related to the forced removal of crosses from churches.

A demolition team removes a cross from Wenzhou’s Dongyang Church. THE TELEGRAPH

A demolition team removes a cross from Wenzhou’s Dongyang Church. THE TELEGRAPH

Here’s the short of it: Last summer local authorities tore down some 400 crosses off churches in this area known as the “Jerusalem of China.” The man, Huang Yizi, is an outspoken local pastor who led a group of church members to a local government office and ask why security armed with sticks were allowed to attack parishioners guarding their church’s cross. He was ultimately jailed for inciting a riot, though many there say he was actually acting as a mediator between the groups.

Given a choice the flesh looks for the easy way, the path of least resistance. Going that way can give an appearance of success for a time, but like a house of cards it soon enough crumbles under its own weight.

The growth of the Church in China is a conundrum for authorities. They push and it grows stronger. That echoes Paul’s claim that to live is Christ and to die is gain. It gives us in America a way to look at challenges coming from changes in our culture. Do they become things that trip us up, or make us stronger in Christ?

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