Behind the splendid Christmas lights embedded the stories of imprisoned Christians in China.
The WorldServe Ministries, which has launched a prayer campaign "Lights of Christmas" for the Christians in China at Christmas, unveiled the typical real story of how imprisoned Chinese Christians were forced to labor and resemble 5000 light bulbs per day:
"In the northern interior of China, some 40 prisoners live in a 20' by 20' prison cell. Among them is an underground church pastor named Stephen*, who is sentenced to a three-year prison term for preaching the Gospel of Christ. Everyday at 5:30 a.m., they are all taken to a room and put in two lines facing each other and forced to kneel. In front of each prisoner is placed a box containing unassembled Christmas lights.
As soon as the guard commands, everyone quickly grabs the empty strings of lights and begins to assemble them. The daily production standard for Pastor Stephen is 5000 bulbs, which may take around 16 to 20 hours to finish or all night if necessary. He will be beaten mercilessly if the guards are unsatisfied with the speed or quality of the work.
All prisoners are not allowed to use tools; therefore Pastor Stephen’s fingers are raw and bleeding. He takes the tiny individual light bulbs and threads the two small metal wires extending from the glass through the plastic holder and bends them into place. Then he puts the bulb into the fitting on the string of lights and clamps it into place with his teeth."
WorldServe Ministries added that despite of hardships, Pastor Stephen always recalls the Bible verses he has memorized before and gives thanks to God for his faithfulness. He also sings praise and prays for his family deep in his heart.
Pastor Stephen’s story is just a tip of iceberg. There are many more similar stories in many different parts of China among the persecuted believers. WorldServe Ministries publishes a set of prayer cards on the website, through which more real stories are made known to Christians.
To find out the way to support the imprisoned underground church pastors, please refer to the website.
*the name is not real for security reason