Blog note: Christian Persecution. Jesus indicated that many would hate and persecute Christians because of His name. This has always been the case and is increasing in intensity and frequency.
Psalm 25:19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
Psalm 38:19. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.
Psalm 41:7. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
Psalm 69:4. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
Psalm 69:14. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Matthew 10:22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Mark 13:13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Luke 6:22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
Luke 21:17. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
John 7:7. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
John 15:18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:23. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. End of note
China shuts Protestant church as part of religious crackdown
Our Foreign Staff. The Telegraph. December 17, 2018
Authorities have raided and shut an underground Protestant church in southern China as part of its sweeping crackdown on religious freedom. Entry and exit roads to the church have reportedly been blocked by police, and church property including more than 4,000 books have been confiscated at the Rongguili Church in Guangzhou.
Photos circulating online show four men packing piles of books and Bibles, and overturned furniture pushed to the side in one room of the church. Rongguili is the third church since September to be forcibly closed down by officials, following Zion Church in Beijing and Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu.
China’s recent raids on independent underground churches are part of a broader campaign that has intensified this year as Xi Jinping, the president, cracks down on religious freedoms while promoting Chinese nationalist identity and culture.
While the ruling Communist Party is officially atheist, it does allow some faiths to be practiced at state-sanctioned religious institutions. But for worshippers, that also means learning and following state-approved religious thinking.
Underground churches have sprung up over recent years, prompted by interest in independent religious teaching.
Rongguili Church, founded by the late pastor Samuel Lamb Xiangao, was one such institution. After refusing to join a state-authorised Protestant church, Mr Lamb was jailed for two decades.
China has long worked to control religion. In September, Beijing signed a provisional agreement with Vatican on the appointment of bishops, making a breakthrough on an issue that had fuelled decades of tensions. China had long insisted that it must approve bishop appointments in China, which clashed with papal authority to pick them, and led to two Catholic churches – a government-approved one, and an underground one.
An amendment in 2017 that came into effect in this February gave officials more power to act against independent churches and to impose harsher penalties for “privately arranged religious gatherings.”