I had written a post (here) about the online magazine Christianity Today, questioning whether it can be called Christian based on some the articles, editorials, and opinion pieces they publish.
So, it was not surprising to see an article in Christianity Today entitled “China Isn’t Trying to Wipe Out Christianity” which is basically an apologetic piece on the claim that persecution is really not that bad in China.
Having lived in communist Romania until age 13, and having seen the persecution methods employed by that government against my local church, I can testify that what I read in this article was a message influenced by communist propaganda. The communist Romanians had freedom of speech, religion and assembly as part of their core values. Allegedly. And theoretically. But they were vehemently persecuting the existing ne0-Protestant churches for their FAITH under the banner of national security. Any prayer meeting was seen as a national threat. Every church was suspected of being a potential western ally. Every faithful Christian was a potential revolutionary. All of these to cover the real motive which was religious persecution.
They used the seemingly legitimate national defense excuse to accomplish their atheistic goals of suppressing the truth and stamping out religious practice.
And the propaganda disseminated in this article by Christianity Today follows some of the same old techniques we have seen in the former eastern communist bloc. For example:
1. The government is really not after those practicing their faith in house churches. Oh no. They are after anti-government elements that pose a national threat… So I ask… National threat from whom? Is the US or western Europe about to go to war with China? How ridiculous does that sound? Are they afraid that individual house cell meetings for prayer are going to topple a massive totalitarian government? Even that is highly improbable!
2. The Chinese government is not persecuting the faith, they are trying to suppress protests which can be embarrassing. So I ask… Why are Christians trying to protest in the first place if they are not persecuted for their faith?
3. The Chinese government is not persecuting Christians… only the ones who are trying to publicize human rights violations. Again, when freedom of religion is suppressed, that is a human rights violation translating into religion persecution.
Quote from the article: “The point here is not in any way to minimize the seriousness of these cases, but simply to point out that these believers were not persecuted for their faith or even for belonging to a house church…” This is exactly what the propaganda is! That the persecution has nothing to do with faith but with anti-government activity. We have seen this cover story time and time again in Romania.
This is an old trick and we are not going to fall for it!
Can we now see how ridiculous it is to blame Christian “trouble makers” to divert attention from the real underlying impetus of the atheist Chinese government, their real motive being the persecution of the Christian faith? And Christianity Today is buying it despite multiple other reports and assessments with respect to the intense persecution of the faithful in China!
Even though Christianity Today may not (want to) discern the truth, we know that our brothers and sisters in China are suffering at the hands of an atheist totalitarian regime which wants to inhibit their faith in God. We will continue to pray for these Christians and remember Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”