‘re-education through prosperity’

Pastor Sentenced to Re-education Through Labor – China Aid Association

On July 4, Pastor Zhang Zhongxin was sentenced to two years re-education through labor in Jining city in Shangdong province. According to China Aid Association (CAA), “Shandong Re-education-Through-Labor Management Committee issued a written decision sentencing Zhang Zhongxin to two years re-education through labor. Authorities accused him [Zhongxin] of cult participation in the ‘whole scope of the church’ organized ‘Sunday school training courses, preaching the gospel to the northwest, Tibet and other places for missionaries and pioneers sermons.'” CAA added that in 2005, Zhongxin established The Rainbow Missions Fellowship and Timothy Bible Training School in Jining city, Shandong province, where Christian leaders are trained. Zhongxin has appealed his sentence. Pray for Zhongxin and his family during this difficult time. Ask God to give them courage as he appeals his sentence. Ask God to protect believers in China who face trying times as the government cracks down on believers ahead of the Olympics next month.

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This is a blurb from the prayer update that I receive from Voice of The Martyrs. This is from the July 15th News & Prayer Update.

Anyone who has followed the underground church in China understand that what has happened to PastoZhang Zhongxin is not uncommon at all…. ‘re-education through labor’ [Human Rights Watch]

Reeducation through labor (laodong jiaoyang or laojiao), according to the Ministry of Public Security, is an administrative measure of reform through compulsory education designed to change offenders into people who “obey law, respect public virtue, love their country, love hard work, and possess certain standards of education and productive skills for the building of socialism.” The term refers to a system of detention and punishment administratively imposed on those who are deemed to have committed minor offenses but are not legally considered criminals. Reeducation through labor —sometimes labeled rehabilitation through labor— is not to be confused with reform though labor (laodong gaizao or laogai), the complex of prisons, labor camps, and labor farms for those sentenced judicially.

When re-education does not work, downright persecution sets in.

 

Fiery Trials and Miracles – [Songs of the Scriptures: Brother Yun]

In his 23 years of ministering in China, Brother Yun was arrested and sent to prison three different times. He spent a total of seven years in prison for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On the occasion of his first arrest, Brother Yun was ministering at a meeting away from home. He was caught by the Security Police and thrown into a freezing cold prison cell with 4 of his co-workers. There was no heat in the cell, and outside, the temperature was below freezing.

They had thrown Brother Yun’s coat in the snow. He began to beat on an old drum with his handcuffs and sing in a loud voice Psalm 150. He says, “The more I sang the more I was filled with joy. I stood up and praised the Lord. Gradually my frozen hands and feet regained feeling and I wasn’t cold any more.”

This was only the beginning of his prison saga. During the times when Brother Yun was in the hands of the government officials, he was repeatedly beaten and tortured with electric batons. He was kicked and trampled upon. He was tortured with needles being jabbed underneath his fingernails. He was mocked by the other prisoners. He was hung by his handcuffs and transported so roughly that the cold cuffs sliced through his wrists until they were all bloodied and the wrist bones exposed.

Through all of these horrendously painful experiences, the Word of the Lord kept coming to Brother Yun, encouraging him, and strengthening him in his faith, until he could face pretty much anything without fear.

During his first imprisonment in Nanyang, Brother Yun felt instructed by the Lord to fast without food and water until he could see his family. This fast lasted miraculously for 74 days.

Although he had no Bible, he meditated on the Scriptures he had memorized. During this time, he was interrogated and beaten regularly. Though his body weakened, Jesus ministered to his spirit through the Scriptures.

From Nanyang, Brother Yun was sent to the Xinyang Prison Labour Camp. While in this camp, Yun’s wife Deling found creative ways to get the Word of God to him. One time, she smuggled in parts of the Bible in a loaf of bread! These Scriptures were precious to Yun and to the new Christians that were constantly being birthed as a result of Brother Yun’s witness.

After his second time in prison, Brother Yun felt the necessity of training the believers that were being added to the church by the 1000’s. So he and his co-workers established “oil stations”, where students could be trained in the Scriptures. The first oil station was held in a cave for two months. Within 2 months, the 30 students selected were required to read through the whole Bible, and memorize the book of Matthew. By the end of the first month, most of the students had Matthew memorized!

Brother Yun’s third imprisonment was a very dark time for him. The guards were determined that he would not escape from them, as he had many times before. So they took him into a room and beat his legs until they turned completely black below the knee. They wanted to cripple him permanently so that he would not be able to escape again. In prison, other Christian brothers had to carry Brother Yun around because he could not walk. The only way he could sleep was if he propped his legs up on the wall until he had no feeling in them. They beat him every day, even in his crippled state.

Of this time, Brother Yun says, “I had no Bible with me so I meditated on God’s Word from memory and prayed in tears for the churches. I shouted out Bible verses at the top of my voice, clinging to God’s promises such as Psalm 27:1-3. I sang loudly day and night.”

Through the Word of the Lord with confirmation from another brother, God instructed Brother Yun to escape from the maximum security prison. And so, on the morning of May 5, 1997, Yun miraculously walked out of the prison, past dozens of security guards. He didn’t realize until later that his legs had been healed.

Brother Yun eventually escaped China, but he wasn’t through with prison life—yet. Several years after he escaped, he was in the country of Myanmar to escort his family to Germany. He got caught at the border with an illegal identification card and thrown into prison. He received a 7 year sentence, but the German Embassy was able to get him out after 7 months. During this time, Brother Yun busily engaged himself in winning the prisoners to Jesus, and training them. He says, “Through song I taught many Bible passages to my new brothers in Christ.”

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In the Church in America the ‘modus operandi’ is quite different. The re-education is much different. The church is immersed in material blessings, and long as there is little or no commitment for her Lord the enemies of the cross allow the church to operate and even prosper materially.  The resulting fruit? The Laodecian church.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3: 17-18

malachi

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