This is the question that the main character of Randy Alcorn's book Safely Home asks himself over and over. It's a question his father has taught him to ask. Chinese Christians, like the fictional Li Quan, never know when their faith will result in the ultimate persecution: death because of their Christian beliefs.
I recently finished reading this book that has been on my "to-read" list for a long time. Although the story is fictional, it is true. The persecuted church in China is a reality. Alcorn's book brings the perils of being a Christian in China to life by telling the story of two college friends who meet many years later when one, a successful and driven American businessman, goes to China to scout out business opportunities for his company and meets his old college roommate who, because of his Christian beliefs, is under scrutiny by the Chinese government. House churches, unannounced police raids, scarce copies of the scripture--these are the realities of being a Christian in China. But the Christian church in China is alive and well; persecution purifies and strengthens.
The book is moving, life-changing, convicting... and uplifting when the truth of the title "Safely Home" is realized.
These thoughts were on my mind earlier this week when a chapel speaker shared his experiences teaching Chinese Christians this summer, leaders of house churches similar to those described in Safely Home. "God is on the move in China"--that was the speaker's message: China has the fastest growing Christian population in the world, perhaps as many as 100 million. It's amazing that God used the godless Mao Zedong to prepare the way for Christianity. By unifying the country, promoting literacy and designating Mandarin Chinese as the national language, Mao provided the infrastructure that made the spread of Christianity possible. "...God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
For up-to-date information about persecution of Christians around the world, check out the Voice of the Martyrs' Persecution Blog.