That Subversive Book

Jiang Yuchun was a boy the first time he attended a Christian gathering in a home in Anhui Province, China. He and his father walked fifteen miles under cover of darkness because any kind of Christian gathering during the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976 was an act of subversion according to government policy. Thousands of believers were martyred during those dark days; every Christian leader exposed was imprisoned or killed; the Bible was practically extinct.Yuchun watched the leader teaching the group, holding a tattered copy of the Bible tightly in his hand. The pages were torn and dirty, the corners worn to a rounded shape.

The red edging had been worn to a faint pink. The cover hung by a thread to the binding. The preacher, who travelled from one location to the next to teach even during the Cultural Revolution, would not allow anyone to touch this Bible. Too much was as stake. But one day, one time, he allowed Yuchun to take it for a moment to glance at it. Yuchun was only in elementary school, so he could not make out much of the traditional Chinese script, but decades later he still remembered the reverence, awe, and joy he experienced when he held that subversive book in his hands.

More about Jiang Yuchun’s story.

8 thoughts on “That Subversive Book”

  1. Great story. I read the Bible online, so I do not use my (actual) book very much. But it made me think about using my book. It’s cover is purple and very beautiful. Thanks for your story.
    Blessings, Henriette.

  2. Mike Forsstrom

    Jiang Yuchun was a boy the first time he attended a Christian gathering in a home in Anhui Province, China. He and his father walked fifteen miles under cover of darkness.

    I complain if a church gathering is more than a 30 minute drive away. Nothing like a little communist control to challenge your faith.


  3. Another powerful and poignant and powerful story of the moving of God’s spirit moving through His’ truth in His’ people. Many, many stories like that in China. Thanks for the reminder of His’ faithfulness!

  4. I am so thankful for our fellow believers in China, who serve our Lord in the face of suffering.
    Although things are changing, many Americans do not want to do physical exercise for their overall health because it hurts too much. As an athlete, I really like exercising, even though it hurts, because of the results…
    American Christians do not want to be persecuted, do not want to suffer, despite the fact that usually our greatest growth seems to come during hard times… if my attitude about suffering for Christ matched my attitude for suffering in order to better my body, I believe I’d be much better off. But I am encouraged because of His word; “He who began a good work in you…”
    Thank you for the post.

  5. Mel Lawrenz, thanks so much for sharing the story of Jiang Yuchun and reminding us of the persecution that Christians have endured and still endure for following Christ.

    We know that Jesus said his followers would be persecuted, but anytime I read a story like MR Yuchun’s it is still hard to accept.

    Christians are being persecuted and murdered in so many places for following the message of a forgiving and loving God, who asks that we we treat others as we wish to be treated. How can that be? It just boggles the mind that Christ’s message is so feared.

    Yuchan’s story, and recent stories like that of the Iranian Christian sentenced to death for apostasy always remind me of Christ’s Apostles and how they too were persecuted and suffered for sharing the Good News.

    It both humbles and strengthens me. (Thanks, again, for sharing.)

  6. Thank you for the very humbling story. I think back to my very protected childhood and remember the first thing out of every child’s mouth when something went wrong was, “that’s not fair!”. The first thing most parents did was make everything “fair”. Everybody got the exact same size piece of cake, everybody got a turn, drop your ice cream cone on the ground and it was quickly replaced with another one, and on and on it went. The tragedy is I believe I have passed this along to my own son without realizing it. I guess it is better I realize it now rather than never! How can I expect my child to be prepared to embrace God’s purpose for our lives as Paul did? James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds….. “Pure joy”, wow, that is amazing- quite honestly, I am not sure I will ever get to that point in this life. American parents need to wake up and I need to be the first one in line!

  7. There are hardly words to express how humbling this makes me feel. I’ve been slapped in the face with truth of what real suffering is and that people in so many countries are continually willing to face persecution, torture, death – just to “feel” God’s presence, to “eat” and “drink” His Word where they find the strength to endure, the Truth that has set them free, and everything else they so desperately need. We in the West need to ask the Lord to prepare us because I believe we aren’t ready for what is definitely coming. One thing is sure, we must keep the persecuted church in our daily prayers.

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