Thursday, March 29, 2007

woe!

Saturday afternoon driving into Vancouver we again passed the site, in front of the Chinese Consulate, where for five years Falun Gong members demonstrated against the Chinese Government. They were protesting the persecution of their brothers and sisters China.

The city tried to shut down the protest last summer. Thus people no longer sit and stand there 24/7 as they used to. But there are still posters and banners. As we sped by, I caught sight of a woman’s face on a poster, emaciated and bruised, hair a mess, eyes filled with pain. I thought of how much she looked like pictures of persecuted Christians I have seen.

This morning when reading Jesus’ woes in Luke 6: “Woe to you who are rich....Woe to you who are full....Woe to you who laugh now....Woe to you when all men speak well of you....” I thought of my rich, full, accepted life, and what a contrast is the life of Christians in places where persecution is the norm. And I also thought of that Falun Gong protest site.

It was not my choice to be born in Canada – a land of tolerance and plenty. But I do have other choices. One of them concerns what to do about my persecuted brothers and sisters in India and Uzbekistan and Pakistan and China and Myanmar and Thailand etc. etc. Like the Falun Gong, should I consider making myself a little uncomfortable and unpopular by protesting against governments that deal oppressively with Christians and which my country supports with respect and trade? That Granville Street monument of Falun Gong's dedication is a rebuke to me.

At the very least, I know I should pray regularly for my persecuted brothers and sisters. For if I don’t take some of their present woe on myself in this least (and perhaps most) thing I can do – intercession – I can consider myself warned. Jesus said someday the tables would be turned:

“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you and cast out your name as evil....For your reward is great in heaven (Luke 6:20-23).


To find out what’s happening to Christians around the world check out:

WorldServe Ministries

Voice of the Martyrs

Persecution blog

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