Michael Snyder | End of the American Dream
We always knew that this was coming. For years, the horrifying persecution of Christians in the Middle East has made headlines all over the globe, but now we are seeing very disturbing examples of government-sanctioned persecution literally all over the planet. As you will read about below, Russia just banned virtually all types of evangelism outside of a church or religious site. And China has been tearing down thousands of crosses and has been demolishing dozens of churches in a renewed crackdown on the growth of Christianity in that nation. Overall, there are 53 countries that now have laws that restrict the Christian faith according to one recent report. When are we going to wake up and realize what is happening?
When I heard about the new law that was just passed in Russia, I was absolutely stunned. I was in Moscow just a few years after the Berlin Wall fell, and the people were very eager to hear about the Christian faith which had been brutally repressed under the Soviet regime for decades.
Sadly, Russia has now decided to revert back to the old Soviet ways. This new law, which Vladimir Putin wanted, represents almost a complete and total ban on sharing the gospel…
The law, which will come into force on July 20, will prohibit evangelism anywhere outside a church or religious site – including private homes and online – and those in breach of it will be fined. Only named members of religious organisations will be able to share their faith, and even informal witnessing between individuals is forbidden.
According to the New York Times, this ban also includes “preaching and praying” that is done outside the boundaries of “officially recognized” religious institutions.
In recent years, I have defended Russia in many of my articles. But there is no defending this.
This new law is the single worst thing that Russia has done since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they should be utterly ashamed of themselves.
Meanwhile, government officials in China have launched a renewed crackdown on Christians as the underground church continues to grow like wildfire.
According to some reports, the government has torn down more than 2,000 crosses in Zhejiang Province alone in recent months…
More than two thousand crosses have now been forcefully removed from churches as part of a government campaign to regulate “excessive religious sites”.
The nation’s leadership launched the crusade to eradicate Christianity in the coastal province of Zhejiang almost two years ago.
Several members of the public have since been arrested for attempting to halt the government’s crude attempt to suppress the Christian faith.
But sometimes government officials don’t stop there and decide to tear down an entire church. In fact, since the beginning of this year at least 49 churches have been destroyed in Zhejiang Province. Just recently, one group of believers defied the government and returned to their destroyed church to hold a worship service…
Christian worshipers gather to worship among the ruins of their demolished church, defying the Communist Chinese government anti-Christian drive. These congregants in China’ Wenzhou, Zhejiang province conducted a prayer service despite their church building demolished by the government officials.
Zhuyang Church, which was a government-sanctioned church, was routed as a part of an unprecedented church demolition drive. On May 20, the church was demolished by about 100 government officers took down the church building authorized despite the fact that it had the government authorization to operate.
The church member said that the only reason the official could provide for church’ demolition was that the church was “transforming the villages in the city.”
But even the churches that have been left standing in Zhejiang Province are also feeling the pain of the crackdown. According to China Aid, there is a new law that is forcing many churches “to turn over all of their tithes and donations to state authorities“…
The communist government of China’s Zhejiang Province is enforcing a new law that demands numerous churches to turn over all of their tithes and donations to state authorities.
According to a nonprofit Christian organization dedicated to serving the persecuted Church in China, the officials of Pingyang County in Wenzhou are compelling members to give all of their churches’ income to state authorities.
“The government officials will interfere with church affairs, managing our donations and some large-scale projects,” a source told China Aid.
For so long, most Americans have considered the Chinese government to be our friend. But that is not true at all. The communist Chinese are a corrupt, wicked regime that has always been deeply anti-Christian. Anyone that believes otherwise has simply been deluded.
Meanwhile, the persecution of Christians continues to intensify in many parts of Africa. Just recently, a mother of seven children was “hacked to death” by Islamic radicals in Nigeria for openly preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ…
A Christian mother of seven was hacked to death by suspected Muslim radicals in Nigeria and her mutilated body was discovered in a pool of blood along with a Bible and megaphone she used to preach every morning.
According to local reports, 41-year-old Eunice Olawale, a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria and an evangelist, was murdered in the early morning hours on Saturday while she was out evangelizing near Nigeria’s capital of Abuja.
Olawale’s husband, Olawale Elisha, told local media that his wife had left their home around 5 a.m. Saturday morning to preach in the neighborhood but she never returned home.
Ever since the first century, Christians have been martyred for publicly preaching the gospel, and we were warned that this kind of terrible persecution was coming in the last days.
Of course Christians in the Middle East don’t exactly need to hear about “the coming persecution” because they have been living it for many years. Christians are being tortured, beheaded and crucified by radical terror groups such as ISIS, and in other areas of the Middle East the persecution is being imposed on a national level by the government. For instance, just check out what is happening right now in Pakistan…
“The government of Pakistan has announced plans to force Islam on young people by making Quranic study compulsory for all school and college students, which is contrary to the country’s constitution and the Islamic precept that there should be no compulsion in religion. This is the latest escalation of the country’s bias against Christians, other minority faiths and non-believers,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Pakistani Christians, including children, are at risk of kidnapping, forced marriage and forced religious conversion to Islam. Some are also victims of blasphemy charges, which carry the death penalty. There are regular violent assaults on Christian families, homes, shops and churches.
The persecution of the end times is here.
All over the planet, the Christian faith is under assault. In the western world we may not have to face much violent persecution just yet, but our faith is relentlessly mocked, ridiculed and demonized on television, in the movies and on the Internet. Laws that are anti-Christian in tone and substance are regularly being passed, and many of our top politicians are not even pretending to be fair to us any longer.
Just like in much of the rest of the world, we are starting to discover that there is a great price to be paid for following Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 16, Jesus told us that if anyone would choose to follow Him, that individual should “deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Are you ready to take up your cross?
The persecution of Christians is only going to get worse in the years ahead, and in order to make it through what is coming we need to be ready to give up everything for Him.
Source: End of the American Dream