From Constantine to China: Reflections on Suffering in the life of the Church

Mark Charles at Project Peace Speaker Series- Berkeley, CA

“If believers in Jesus do no wrong then they should not be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the gospel. It is what I’ve devoted all of my energy to. It is the good news that I am spreading throughout Chinese society. I also understand that this happens to be the very reason why the Communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it.

Early Rain Covenant Church member praying together
  • Foreigners (mainly missionaries) getting taken in for questioning and eventually getting kicked out of the country. Moreover, these foreigners have had their electronics scanned for other names of Christians, leading to entire missions organizations being disbanded and taken out.
  • College students on campuses being taken in by officials, and having their diplomas taken away for not renouncing their faith. Students are generally being deterred from making commitments to Christ through fear tactics.
  • Christians being fired from their jobs for not renouncing their faith. There are clear economic and employment consequences for Christians who don’t conform to broader culture and/or renounce their faith

“I used to think we should pray to alleviate persecution. But I’m starting to think that’s actually the wrong way to go about it…. If we really believe that God is greater than everything, and that the government’s power is not true power, we shouldn’t pray for an end to persecution but for hope in the face of it. We should pray for a right view of God in the midst of suffering… In that environment, you see people’s faith in amazing ways- in ways that are hard to see in America sometimes.”




Co-Pastor @bethelcommunitysl | Director of Advocacy @fphayward | pastor, activist, writer | married to @eubanksme | co-author of @lentenlament | she/her

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Erina Kim-Eubanks

Erina Kim-Eubanks

Co-Pastor @bethelcommunitysl | Director of Advocacy @fphayward | pastor, activist, writer | married to @eubanksme | co-author of @lentenlament | she/her

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