A martyr is a Christian who chooses to suffer death rather than deny Christ or His work. One who sacrifices something very important to further the Kingdom of God and endures great suffering for Christian witness. In China today, many house church Christians are still beaten and persecuted because of their faith. Over the years, many have been tortured and some have even died because they love Jesus. House church leaders in China have provided details of more than 1,000 Christian leaders who have been disabled or are faced with long-term illness or injury as a result of persecution and imprisonment.
An estimated 250,000 Christians have died in China for their faith since the Gospel was first introduced in the seventh century. Since 1900, more Christians have been killed in China than in all countries of the world combined. They include some well-known names, such as John & Betty Stam, Eric Liddell and Watchman Nee. But the great majority of China’s martyrs have been unsung heroes of the faith: simple men and women, boys and girls who when tested: “did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:10-11)
During the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, in which more than 40,000 Christians were slaughtered, missionary Frank Simcox wrote, “When the history of the Martyr Church of China is written, it will be a beautiful record of suffering for His Name!” A short time later Simcox was himself martyred.
Paul Hattaway’s recent release of the book “China’s Christian Martyrs” is packed with inspirational testimonies of how God’s people chose the eternal rewards of the kingdom of God over this world. From the Tibetan Christian who was bound and sewn into a wet yak skin and left in the sun to be squeezed to death as the skin tightened; to the Uygur Christians in northwest China who were told by the Muslim Emir, “It is my duty, according to our law, to put you to death because by your preaching you have destroyed our faith,” this book contains thousands of accounts of both the best and worst of human nature.
Those who have read the book have reported being move to tears and greatly encouraged in their own walk with Jesus Christ. Our desire is that the book will glorify God, inspire those who read it, and challenge believers to a deeper and more radical walk with Jesus Christ. We hope you will read this book and prayerfully consider how you, your family, or your church group might be involved in blessing our brothers and sisters in China who have been without God’s Word for so long.
Until everyone has heard in the land…