Christians in China are Imprisoned for Memorizing the Bible

“They can’t take what’s hidden in your heart”

An American pastor made the journey to China for training faith leaders who were dealing with Christian persecution. However, he realized they could teach him much more than he could.

In Honolulu, Hawaii, the Pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship Wayne Cordeiro, shared his experience about a trip he and 22 Christian leaders recently made to China. Eighteen of these leaders have already been imprisoned in the past. Pastor Cordeiro said that his group smuggled little pieces of paper with Bible passages for people to memorize. Their meeting was in a hidden place underground.

When Pastor Cordeiro asked the Chinese Christians what would happen to him if they got caught, they replied saying that he’d be deported in 24 hours while the rest of them would go to prison for three years. The meeting took place in a 700 square-foot hotel room without couches or air conditioning. Many of the members had taken a 13-hour train ride to attend the leadership meeting. These 22 Chinese Christian leaders oversaw 22 million.

The group was short on Bibles. When Pastor Cordeiro asked them to turn to 2 Peter, he noticed that one of the women had handed her Bible to another leader while managing to recite the entire book.

When he asked her about it during a break, she replied, saying that prisoners have a lot of time in prison. Pastor Cordeiro then asked if the Bibles were confiscated in prison. She replied saying that while the Bibles are confiscated, people smuggle in pieces of paper with bits of Scripture on them.

She added that people memorize these scriptures as fast as they can because even if they take the paper away, they can’t take away “what’s hidden in your heart.”

At the end of the three-day study, Pastor Cordeiro asked the group how he could pray for them. One of the men responded by saying that he wanted to be free to worship. He asked if Pastor Cordeiro could pray for them to be just like him.

Pastor Cordeiro declined and said that he wouldn’t do so but would instead pray that the Americans become just like the Chinese faithful.

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