4 Minute Daily devotions: Prisoner for Christ

Our government is concerned about torturing terrorists over here, but what about human rights abuses taking place against Christians in China?

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Deuteronomy 26:6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor.

Before last summer’s Olympics, I wrote to you about a Chinese Christian, Alimujiang Yimiti, who had been arrested in January 2007 for preaching the Gospel. He was one of the reasons that I boycotted the Games in China. I couldn’t stomach the fact that whilst the whole world was marveling at the Olympics, a Christian brother was languishing in a Chinese jail just because he was a preacher like me.

A couple of days ago, word came out that Yimiti was still in prison and is very, very sick. On March 31, Alimujiang was seen with his hands bound being roughly escorted by police and a prison doctor. He shouted, “I’m sick. Tell my lawyer to come quickly to see me.”

I personally think that it is both despicable and deplorable that a fellow Christian is being maltreated in this way. In recent weeks, our own government has deplored the use of torture on terrorists. I wonder when the same leaders and politicians will make a similar stand against the human rights abuses that are going on in China today. It’s one thing to pose for the cameras and take a posture against human rights violations over here; it seems to me that because China holds a lot of our national debt, our government is afraid to speak out and do something about those atrocities over there.

I pray that Alimujiang gets better and that one day he is released back to his distraught family and Christian friends. It is important that we Western Christians, who tend to have a much easier life and greater freedom of religion, should never forget that our brothers and sisters in Christ are being harassed and hunted down, persecuted and imprisoned, tortured and even executed for the same beliefs that we often take for granted.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we pray for Alimujiang Yimiti and his family. We ask that You will heal him of his sickness and rescue him from his persecutors. We pray for his release back into his community and church. May we continually remind ourselves that if not for the grace of God and the land of our birth, we could have faced the same mistreatment for having the same faith. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

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About stushie

I'm originally from Scotland and have been a Presbyterian pastor for over twenty years. I live in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy art as a means of therapy, but also as a creative way to strengthen my spiritual connection to God.
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