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06/15/2024 China (International Christian Concern) – Around the world, tyrannical governments view the growth of Christianity as a threat to their power. Flexing their figurative muscles, they crack down on Christian leaders in an attempt to squash revival and scare off potential new converts.

For many decades, this has been the case in China. Yet, due to the courage and faithfulness of Christian leaders like Wang Zhiming across the nation, the gospel continues to spread.

In early adulthood, Wang worked as a teacher at a local church school for the Miao people. He later accepted a preaching position and started overseeing several Miao churches in the region.

Ultimately, it was his ordination as a pastor that led to attention from the authorities during a time when threats from the Communist Party against Christians were quickly driving missionaries out of the nation. In 1954, he was arrested for “not repenting and continuing to engage in religious espionage activities,” and spent two years in prison.

During the next 15 years, authorities attempted to mold Wang into a pseudo-religious leader who professed loyalty to Mao Zedong. Yet, despite the mounting pressure, Wang held fast to his Christian beliefs and took his ministry efforts underground.

He was eventually arrested again in 1969, which led to multiple years of horrific abuse in Wuding County Detention Center. In one instance, he was asked, “Do you trust Mao Zedong or Jesus?” Standing firm, he boldly declared, “I believe in Jesus,” which resulted in a period of severe torture.

In late December of 1973, Wang was sentenced to death. He was paraded through the streets after a public trial that tens of thousands of people attended. As his execution approached, onlookers saw no ounce of fear on his face. Rather, he smiled before the crowd, knowing that his reward in eternity was just around the corner.

Despite the government’s crackdown on believers in this period, including Wang’s own family, Miao Christians held fast to their faith, inspired partly by the testimony of their faithful pastor. Today, the once tiny population of Christians in the region has exploded by tens of thousands.

While these Christians know that their journey of faith will not likely be an easy one, like Wang, they have peace knowing that their true treasure awaits them in eternity.

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