Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13 (NRSV)
Zhang Xiuji (1996)
Zhang Xiuji was killed by police in Henan province, China in May 1996, aged 36. Xiuji was dragged out of her home at night and beaten to death the next day. When the police handed over Xiuji’s body to her family, they also gave them $600 to keep quiet. The police’s official statement said that Xiuji was killed in an accident when she jumped from a car.
Christians in China continue to face violent persecution by the authorities; those who belong to unregistered “house churches” are particularly vulnerable. They are viewed as a threat to the Communist regime, which demands supreme loyalty to the state.
Brief life is here our portion,
Brief sorrow, short lived care;
The life that knows no ending,
The tearless life is there.
There God, our King and Portion,
In fullness of His grace,
We then shall see forever,
And worship face to face.
Bernard of Cluny (12th century)