The Latin church father Terullian famously wrote, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” The fuller quote is,
“We multiply when you reap us. The blood of Christians is seed.”Terullian Apologeticus, L.13
I saw a post that if one “voted for abortion on tuesday, you cannot praise Jesus on Sunday.” This is from the perspective of Christians used to having such a politically advantaged position that they can have representation of their moral view in the government. Ironically, as Terullian remarked, the church seems to grow healthier and faster when that advantage doesn’t exist.
In the 19th Century, China was a bit of a Western Missionary Frontier, pionered by men like Hudson Taylor of the China Inland Mission. But come the turn of the century, the Boxer Rebellion slaughtered tons of westerners – especially missionaries – and forced the church underground.
Enter Christians in China during the 20th Century.
Like the persecution following Stephen’s murder in Jerusalem in Acts 8:1, this unanticipated persecution became the best thing that ever happened to Christianity in China. Today official statistics by the government report China features 44 million Christians. The respected Pew Center estimates 68 million currently.
The best documentary chronicling this amazing transition is called “The Cross in China.” The film is a 4 part documentary (each part being about 1 hour) which interviews many of the key figures of a movement for who whom notarity came by years or frequency of imprisonment for one’s faith.
It demonstrates that the principle of the early church still holds true.
Here’s the film: