Lights of Christmas campaign to help Chinese pastors

By December 12, 2008

China (MNN) — Underground church planters in China are doing incredible work, but unfortunately many are arrested. Tom Henry with WorldServe Ministries says as you hang your Christmas lights this year, please remember these believers.

"If you look at the little slip, it says 'Made in China.' What you don't know is that most of those lights are made in prisons. And some of those prisoners happen to be in there for simply sharing their faith," says Henry.

He continues, "They [the pastors] have a quota. If they don't meet the quota, they're beaten with the strands. It's a very horrific situation."

When you hear that, your first response is to want to boycott the lights. But Henry says Chinese believers aren't asking you to do that. "They say that would actually hurt their situation. What we really need you to do is just pray for them. Pray that they'll have the grace and the courage to even bless those who persecute them and to love their enemies."

Henry says that's why WorldServe has started the "Lights of Christmas" campaign. It's an effort to raise $50 a month for imprisoned pastors. "It's going to suffering pastors in prison, particularly in rural areas. If a pastor is in prison for two months, three months, or eight months, that $50 will support his whole family for a month."

A moving, informative video on the program is available at WorldServe's Website, WorldServe.org .

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