Monday, November 17, 2014

Christians Who Support Christian Persecution

I realized in the past two weeks that yes - I am a Christian that inadvertently supports the persecution of my brothers and sisters in Christ, at least in China.

Although Christians face growing persecution for their religious beliefs in this culture, we are a far distance from those facing persecution in places like the Middle East, China, or some parts of Africa or Asia.  We are very blessed to live in a country with religious liberty protections.

However, as part of this consumer driven society, I came to the realization last Sunday that I blindly and ignorantly support the persecution of Christian brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. (I am tempted to draw a parallel of the USA and the Capital in the Hunger Games series, but I will resist.)

As part of the Sunday service recently at McLean Bible Church - my home church - we heard testimony from a Christian woman from China who was persecuted for her faith.  In her longest prison sentence, she spent six years in jail.  During that time, she made Christmas lights, which were sent and sold in the U.S.A.  You can see more of her story and video here (produced by The Voice of the Martyrs).

As I sat in the sanctuary, watching the video, reading the words at the end of her video that said, "Sarah was imprisoned a total of six years . . . making Christmas lights to send to America . . . " - I was ashamed.  I am sure that the lights on my tree or my house are made in China - and I didn't think twice about buying something "Made in China" last Christmas season.

Thankfully, Sarah is safe here in America.  But there are untold numbers of others in China that were imprisoned for their Christian faith being forced to make Christmas "items" headed to this country.

Although I am not one to either support the boycott of products (in agreement with Russ Moore - you can see his thoughtful comments about boycotts here) or even believe that Christians can effectively boycott in this culture anymore - I am not sure I can personally continue to buy Christmas items from China.

The knowledge that a brother or sister in Christ, suffering for their faith in prison, is being forced to make Christmas ornaments or lights (of all horrible irony) - is enough to stay my wallet.  I can't imagine what Sarah or the countless others making Christmas ornaments and other things for American Christians thought about me - while suffering in chains for Jesus. 

I am probably not going to do a purge of all things "China" in my house - but I will think twice before spending my dollars this and future Christmas seasons.  And I encourage you to possibly do the same.  We should do more than just pray for the persecuted church, and not supporting the persecutors is step one.