Monday, August 28, 2006

of Mice and Martyrs

By now, many have chewed over the gunpoint conversion to Islam, made by hostages in Gaza. It's hard to really criticize apostasy under duress unless you've been there, and like many sage commenters out there, I'll just pray that when the time comes, I'll have the courage to proclaim Jesus as Christ and Lord. As for the timid believers out there, Peter had denied Christ three times from the same fear, and Jesus forgave him. Good luck y'all.

The Maoist Chinese gov't has released a catholic bishop they've had in prison for a decade. Now some may say" Well, Jimbob, now that the Maoists have released a bishop, are you going to continue your trade embargo with China?" Well, I'm not one to fall for feints and other gestures, as the Maoists have exhibited an insincere and contradictory policy of public releases and secret arrests and re-arrests. Where are these guys?:

Bishop Su Zhimin of the Baoding diocese, where Bishop An served, was arrested in 1997 and his current condition and location are unknown.

Bishop Han Dingsiang of Yong Nian, also in the Hebei province, was arrested in 1999 and his current condition and location are unknown.

Bshop Jian Zhiguo of Zhengding, Hebei, was arrested in June of this year; he has been arrested 9 other times in the past three years. His current status is unknown.

Bishop Shi Enxiang of Yixian, Hebei, was arrested in 2001; his current condition and location are unknown.

Bishop Yao Liang, an auxiliary of the Xiwanzi diocese in Hebei, was arrested in July of this year, and is being held in Zhangjiakou.

Bishop Zhao Zhendong of Xuanhua as arrested in December 2004; his current condition and location are unknown.

And these are just the bishops! Where are all the priests that the Chinese gov't has sent for "re-education"/ coerced apostasy? The courage of Chinese Catholics must be great, and they truly love our Lord despite the cost. Maybe the recently released Fox News crew may do well to study these Chinese Martyrs as an example.

And lastly, the courage of Lina Joy, a christian convert in Malaysia, a Muslim country. The qualities of the Religion of Peace really shines through in situations like this:
But she is now in hiding after death threats from Islamic extremists, who accuse her of being an apostate.

Now, to be fair, those were just the extremist adherants of the Religion of Peace. How about the more moderate:
In rulings in her case, civil courts said Malays could not renounce Islam because the Constitution defined Malays to be Muslims.

They also ruled that a request to change her identity card from Muslim to Christian had to be decided by the Shariah courts. There she would be considered an apostate, and if she did not repent she surely would be sentenced to several years in an Islamic center for rehabilitation.

I imagine that the muslim concept of rehabilitation is very different than what christians would come up with. Long story short, another prisoner for Christ. Pray for her, and others like her throughout the world, and pray for the strength to be as courageous when the time comes for us.

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