The groundskeeper smiled to himself as he swept the floor of Beijing’s Olympic Stadium. Although the Olympic Games were long past, the enormous stadium still seemed to be filled with intense energy. For a moment, the groundskeeper looked into the stands and imagined them filled with smiling faces—people from all over the world united together for a common cause. “If only that feeling could last,” the groundskeeper thought as he touched the cross hiding under his shirt.
Unfortunately for the groundskeeper and many other Christians like him, this feeling of unity and brotherhood would be fleeting. For after the last gold medal was awarded and the last torch blown out, reports of Christian persecution in China have intensified.
Sadly enough Zhang Mingxuan , also known as “Pastor Bike” to underground Christians in China, understands what it means to be persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ. Just recently Pastor Bike and his family were forcefully evicted from their home, mercilessly beaten, and finally–arrested. In the city of Yichun all house churches have been banned and in Yunnan province church members are being attacked. Yet one of the most heart-wrenching stories seems to be taking place in Henan province, China. Within this tiny district lies a sickening labor camp full of Christians who have been deemed–“evil cult members.” Their crime–a desire to worship the Lord and spread the Gospel.
The groundskeeper packed up his broom and walked quietly out into the dark, China, night. He looked back at the large stadium glowing in the distance and sighed. The gigantic building held memories of liberation and safety–precious moments free of persecution. “If only that feeling could last,” the groundskeeper thought as he began the long trek home–cross tucked securely under his shirt.