Brother Wei from Southeast Asia tells his story to a staff member of Open Doors. He is too shy to look at him directly. While he is speaking, he keeps his eyes lowered.
I'm forty-one years old and I'm a simple rice farmer. Twenty years ago, I became a Christian and in the past years, I've been in prison thirteen times because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The last time I was in a notorious prison, surrounded by a moat. In order to torment the prisoners, we were given rice mixed with sand. There were no toilets - we just had to find a spot somewhere.
I was arrested because I believed in Jesus and because I was active as a preacher. The punishment for this "crime" was two and a half years in prison, but I could be released sooner if I renounced my faith.
The guards constantly tried to force me to deny my faith. I was to sign a form which stated that I had "voluntarily renounced my faith" and that I would "no longer attend meetings." I was bound hand and foot and beaten, but I refused to deny my faith. My fellow prisoners mocked me and swore at me. They called me the "Jesus man." I wasn't allowed a Bible, and if I was caught praying, I was beaten.
After my release, as a result of the abuse I was no longer able to walk fast or to run. Sometimes I could no longer find the words to describe something.
Once I was back in our village, I heard that we had to leave because we hadn't been granted permission to go on living there. We were not allocated any land to work, the children were no longer allowed to go to school and the hospital was no longer willing to help us. Then we left and went to another district, where we had to start over again.
When the Open Doors worker asked him how he had been able to endure all this persecution, Brother Wei said, “I don't trust in what eyes can see, but I've put my trust in the Eternal, the Lord Jesus.”
Today I will persevere through the challenges that come my way with faith in the Eternal God.
Pray that all Christians being persecuted today will respond with this strong faith!