Chinese Christians revealed that they have memorized the whole Bible while in prison, saying that prison guards “can’t take what’s hidden in your heart.”
As the Chinese government continues to suppress Christianity in the country, Christians are finding ways to keep their faith alive. A pastor from Honolulu, Hawaii shared his experience on what believers endure just to practice Christianity in China.
That’s why we memorize it as fast as we can because even though they can take the paper away, they can’t take what’s hidden in your heart. —A formerly imprisoned Chinese Christian
Pastor Wayne Cordiero of New Hope Christian Fellowship recently went to China to train 22 Christian leaders, 18 of them had been imprisoned for their faith. He said the attendees came from the Hunan Province and took a 13- hour train ride to reach the training venue, reports Uganda Christian News.
Pastor Wayne brought 15 Bibles only, leaving 7 of the Chinese Christians without the Scripture. He noticed one woman handed a Bible to another attendee. As they were reading a Bible passage, he noticed that the woman recited the whole chapter of the Bible.
During break time, Pastor Wayne approached the woman and asked how she was able to memorize the passage. She replied, “In prison, you have much time in prison.” She disclosed that Bibles and other Christian literature are confiscated in China and incarcerated Christians have to maximize the little source materials they could get their hands on.
She said people smuggled Bible passages written on paper, hiding them from prison guards. “That’s why we memorize it as fast as we can because even though they can take the paper away, they can’t take what’s hidden in your heart.”
Records showed that there are 30 million Christians attending state-approved churches in China, but may believe that underground Christians surpass this population. Chinese Christians are persecuted on a daily basis, but estimates suggest that China could have the largest Christian population by 2030.
Open Doors USA placed China as the 27th country in the world where it’s illegal to be a Christian. Chinese authorities have been destroying church buildings, illegally detaining Christian leaders and members, installing surveillance cameras to religious places, and bribing people to report Christian neighbors, reports Mission Network News.
“Now, you see a great tightening of restrictions in a way that we haven’t seen before, largely because of their capacity for surveillance,” said David Curry, President and CEO of Open Doors USA. He added that, “China has this ability to track Christians and their behavior…They’re now keeping a social score.”
Curry urged believers to pray to the Lord for the protection of Chinese Christians. “We need to pray for boldness for the Christian Church in China — for the leaders, for the pastors, for the individuals.”