After Muslim extremists murdered two Chinese missionaries, many hoped the Chinese government would take efforts to protect the country’s Christians. Instead, the government is cracking down on the spread of the gospel even more.
According to a BBC report, Meng Lisi and Li Xinheng went to Balochistan, one of the most violent cities in Pakistan, to tell local Muslims about Jesus. However, they were met by violent extremists who murdered them in cold blood.
Now, the Chinese government is cracking down on Christians in their country. Chinese officials arrested four preachers from a church in the Zheijing province shortly after the murders. They later released them but they are banned from preaching the gospel and are prohibited from giving any media interviews.
Xinheng’s mother says she is “proud” of her son for sharing his faith, but is upset the Chinese government didn’t “save our children.”
Many suspect China’s economic interests in Pakistan are keeping them from condemning the terrorists who murdered its citizens. China is investing more than $55 billion in Pakistan, a key country in its plan to connect Asia and Europe with a new Silk Road.
Experts also say China’s atheistic government views its Christian missionaries as a problem.
“They thought Christianity was a western religion imported into China, so how can you export Christianity from China?” Says Fenggang Yang, an expert on religion in China at Purdue University.
“This is new and the Chinese authorities are still struggling to figure out what to do with this,” he added.
Chinese officials have repeatedly targeted the country’s Christians and destroyed more than 1,000 church crosses in 2015 and 2016.
However, despite the crackdown, the recent murders of the two Chinese missionaries reveals that not only is the church in China alive and well, believers are even trying to take the gospel beyond the country’s borders and to some of the most hostile parts of the world.
Former President Barack Obama’s personal letter to Donald Trump on Inauguration Day back in January has been published online, showing for the first time the four pieces of advice Obama left for his successor.
CNN obtained and published the copy on Sunday, noting that Obama addressed Trump as simply “Mr. President” at the front.
“Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure,” Obama wrote.
“This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t kn
“First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can [to] build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard,” Obama began.
“Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend,” he added.
“Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for,” Obama continued.
“Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”
Lastly, he urged Trump to “take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.”
Obama said that he and former first lady Michelle wish Trump “the very best” on “this great adventure,” and promised to help if called upon.
Obama and Trump have had a rocky relationship in the wake of the billionaire businessman’s election victory last year.
While the two presidents participated in cordial meetings during the transition of power, they have since clashed on some topics. Trump accused Obama in March of having tapped his phones at Trump Tower during the late stages of the 2016 election campaign.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump wrote in a tweet back then.
“Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” he added in another post.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, firmly denied the allegations in a statement.
“Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” Lewis said.
Letters of previous presidents offering their advice to their successors have also gone public in recent years, such as George W. Bush’s thoughts for Obama back in January 2009.
“There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your ‘friends’ will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me,” Bush wrote at the time.
“No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly ordered military forces to be ready to shoot down any missiles launched by North Korea aimed at Hawaii, Guam, or the U.S. mainland.
Newsmax reported on Thursday that sources close to Trump’s national security team revealed that the order comes after Kim Jong Un’s verbal threats against Guam, and the refusal to end the ballistic missile tests.
“The threat provoked the president,” the source said.
The commander-in-chief refused to rule out military action against North Korea at a press conference on Thursday, but said that it is not yet “inevitable.”
“It would be great if something else could be worked out,” Trump told reporters, adding that if the the U.S. does strike, “it will be a very sad day for North Korea.”
Kim’s government revealed on Sept. 3 that it had conducted its sixth nuclear test, in defiance against international sanctions.
The announcement prompted a strong reaction from U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who told the U.N. Security Council that North Korea is “begging for war.”
Haley added that while the U.S. does not want a conflict, “our country’s patience is not unlimited.”
She insisted that “only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy.”
Trump has criticized some of America’s key allies, such as South Korea, for what he described as “appeasement” of North Korea.
“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they (North Korea) only understand one thing!” the president said on Twitter last week.
Trump also said that North Korea’s “words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States,” stating that the regime “has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”
Another national security source told Newsmax that Trump’s “shoot down” order could also extend to North Korean missiles launched at Japan or South Korea.
“This is a clear exercise of self-defense, and there’s no question we should do it,” former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said.
Bolton noted that South Korea and Japan “are in jeopardy,” calling on the U.S. to take steps to protect its allies.
Some of North Korea’s threats against Guam include a video in August published by state-operated KCNA news, which depicted Trump standing in a graveyard of crosses in what appeared to be the tiny U.S. territory.
Kim previously warned the he is considering launching intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam due to the heavy sanctions imposed on his country.
Pastors in Guam, such as Fr. Danilo C. Bien, who leads Santa Barbara Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Agana, told The Christian Post that there is cause for worry, due to the “temperament of the leaders who are at the forefront.”
“I hope and pray that wiser and calmer minds will prevail. I hope and pray that our leaders will realize that their decisions affect the welfare of millions of people, if not the whole world,” Bien told CP back then.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has separately warned that a military conflict between America and North Korea wold be “horrific.”
“What is unimaginable is allowing [Kim Jong Un] to develop ballistic missiles with a nuclear warhead that can threaten the United States and continue to threaten the region,” Dunford added.