“I will preach until I die.”
Pastor Li Dexian had preached just a few minutes when Public Security Bureau officers stormed into the house. They dragged Pastor Li outside and beat him, as well as others in the Chinese congregation.
At the police station, the evangelist was beaten again until he vomited blood. The officers beat his face with his own Bible, leaving him bleeding and barely conscious on the concrete floor of the cell.
When he was released seven hours later, he resumed his ministry. The next time he delivered a message to that church, seven PSB officers came in, shouting accusations against the evangelist. When they saw visiting Westerners with him, they left but returned fifteen minutes later with reinforcements. The officers dragged Li out and began to beat his head against a stone wall.
“Why must you beat him?” shouted some of the foreigners. “What about the ‘freedom of religion’ you claim in China?”
The PSB took the foreigners to the local police station, as well as the woman who owned the home where the meeting took place. It was her son who had told the PSB about the meeting.
Since the attack, the large meetings in the village have ceased, but the church has not stopped. Now they gather in more than forty smaller meetings, and new people find Christ each week.
Like droplets of mercury, when the opposition tries to keep the church within its grasp, it only divides into smaller and smaller units. Churches within restricted nations may never experience the Western culture of the megachurch with forty-acre campuses; however, their attendance continues to grow. In fact, one Christian church in Korea far exceeds the attendance of several Western megachurches combined. Yet, like the strategy in China, the Korean congregation is made up of thousands of smaller house meetings or “cells.” What we may perceive as obstacles to evangelism are merely opportunities in disguise. When you come up against opposition, do you give up too easily? Or can you persevere and find another way for the gospel message to advance?
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