Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some Christian History

China a century ago: The Boxer Rebellion
"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you,and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Mans sake.Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!For indeed your reward is great in heaven." Luke 6:22-23

What Was The Boxer Rebellion? "...188 foreign missionaries and more than 32,000 faithful Chinese believers were butchered simply because they were Christians. ... This is not simply the story of cruelty and death, but more a testimony of God's people staying true to their Savior despite desperate circumstances.
"The Chinese view the 1800s as the most degrading and humiliating time in their long history. The Japanese, British, Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russians and other countries had seized Chinese land by military power, and were raping China of its wealth and natural resources.
"It was in this atmosphere that a secret Chinese society, known as The Boxers, was born.... Working behind the scenes, the Boxers grew rapidly in influence until they had members in every part of the country.
"In the last few years of the 1890s foreign missionary activity became more and more difficult, and Chinese Christians were persecuted and accused of being 'running dogs' for the Western Imperialists. Something was about to erupt.... In June 1900 one observer noted,
'Crazed mobs rampaged through the cities of north China, looting and burning churches and the homes of missionaries and Chinese Christians. They were led by bare-chested fanatics called Boxers who brandished long-curving swords and cried for the heads and hearts of Christians and missionaries."[1-page 15]
"...Chinese Christians were forced to kneel and drink the blood of the many foreigners who had been beheaded. Some also had crosses burned into their foreheads. One Chinese Christian mother and her two children were kneeling before the executioner when a watcher suddenly ran and pulled the children back into the anonymity of the observing crowd. ...the mother went to her death because she would not deny her Lord. A quick flash of steel, and the executioner's sword separated her head from her body, and her soul from this world into the presence of her loving God." [See the rest of the story and other testimonies at Asia Harvest]
The Boxer Rebellion exploded in early 1900. Like countless other brave Chinese Christians, a pastor refused to deny His faith in Jesus Christ. The enraged mob cut off his eyebrows, ears and lips. When he still remained "uncooperative," the furious mob cut out his heart and displayed it for the public.
His brave fourteen-year-old daughter followed his footsteps. After watching her father choose a torturous death rather than betray the God he loved, she could only do the same. Bravely she stood her ground through the terrifying test and died as a martyr for her King. Like her father, she won the reward of eternal glory and joy with her beloved Friend who first gave His life for them....
The details of these atrocities are documented in the revealing book, By Their Blood, by James & Marti Hefley. It tells us that in 1900, almost 170 Chinese had committed their lives to Jesus and served Him in Tsun-hua. When the Boxers swept through their land intent on stamping out the "White Devils," almost all were killed. When a pastor was tied to a pillar inside a pagan temple, he preached to his captors and friends all night. In the morning, "a thousand-strong mob "descended on him and literally tore out his heart." [1-page 15]
The same crowd chopped the feet off a Christian Chinese teacher who refused to renounce Christ -- then ran a sword through her. Another teacher was burned alive as she shouted to her pupils, "Keep the faith!" [1-page 16]
When violence broke out in June, the missionary compounds in Taiyuan were torched. The believers -- Chinese and Western together - linked hands and sought temporary refuge in a Baptist boys' school. One missionary realized that two Chinese girls were left behind, so she ran back to rescue them. The girls had managed to escape from their building, but the mob forced the lone missionary back into the blazing house. The girls she come to save watched her kneel in the midst of the flames. [1-page 20]

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