Earlier this morning, the Associated Press reported that police in Beijing, China detained worshippers from an "unapproved Christian church" who were forced to hold service in a public space after they were expelled from their usual place of worship. The piece added, "China's Communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but many Christians belong to unregistered congregations. Such 'house churches' are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities."
Those who profess salvation in Christ have been viewed under the harshest microscope from the very beginning, so maltreatment is understood to come with the territory, even in parts of the world where Christians make up the majority. That being said...
"Scripture makes it clear to me that there is an obligation to speak out on behalf of the persecuted."
-- Sixteen-term Representative Frank R. Wolf (R-Virginia, 10th congressional district)
"Persecution is a tribute the great must always pay for preeminence."
-- Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774), Irish poet, novelist and playwright
"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
-- II Corinthians 4:8-11