Christianity Today’s Liveblog reports that Christian human rights advocate Gao Zhisheng is still alive. This good news has been confirmed by relatives of Gao who were permitted to visit him in prison recently. For background information on Gao, here is a paragraph on him I wrote in 1/11:
Chinese Christian lawyer and human rights activist Gao Zhisheng has defended the rights not only of Christians but of other religious groups as well, such as the Falun Gong. For this, he has been arrested by the Chinese government and undergone torture that even he cannot completely describe. His family and associates have also undergone incredible persecution. Here is an article from Christianity Today Liveblog which quotes a letter from Gao describing what he has endured. CT Liveblog also links to a forward to a book written by Gao describing the humanly unendurable persecution he, his family and his associates have undergone. If this article doesn't motivate you to pray for persecuted everywhere, your heart must indeed be very hard.
Here is list of the 50 countries were Christian persecution is the most severe. (From World Watch List , HT: Gene Veith) China is number 21. Four “allies” of the United States, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan are in the top 10. As I was working on this post, I saw that the top Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia has stated that all Christian churches on the Arabian Peninsula must be demolished (From the Washington Free Beacon, HT: Jesus Creed).