CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 September 2018

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Christians call for peace and conversion after Kunming massacre

KUNMING (SE): On March 1, a group of assailants launched a terrorist attack on passengers at the Kunming train station in the Yunnan province of China.

By the time police arrived and put an end to the carnage by killing four of the attackers, 29 people were dead and over 100 injured.

Calling it China’s Nine/Eleven, the Chinese government labelled it as a terrorist attack, laying the blame on Uighur separatists from Xinjiang.

It vowed to bring the attackers who escaped to justice. Several days later the government announced that all of those who had fled had been arrested.

Chinese people went online to express their grief and anger at the attacks. Christian voices were also in the mix, calling for prayer for the victims and their families, and for ethnic reconciliation.

China Church Voices reported on March 6 that many pastors also used their online platforms to encourage believers to be more urgent in their sharing of the gospel, since it is only the gospel that can bring peace.

The mainland website, Christian Times, posted an article on March 3, entitled, Pastors Mourn the Kunming Massacre—Only the Gospel Can Bring About Change, highlighting some of the online commentary:

After the Three-O-One violent and terrible day at the Kunming railway station, many people were deeply distressed by this act of terrorism.

Besides condemnation, distress and mourning, many Christian pastors have said they want to spread the gospel more quickly, since only the gospel can change this world.

After the incidents of violence, on every major news media website, including Weibo and Weixin, Christians and non-Christians alike quietly passed on the message to pray for Kunming.

Many people brought flowers to the Kunming station, praying that the victims would rest in peace.

Tragedies are always upsetting and many Christian pastors prayed for the circumstances surrounding this terrorist attack.

Sensen Xu, in his post entitled, The Kunming Massacre, wrote, “What is wrong with this world? The tragedy of the dead, the tears of the injured, the pain of Kunming tugs at our heartstrings. Tears cannot wash away sorrow; being indignant cannot undo what happened.”

He continues, “All we can do is quiet our hearts and ask, how would this happen? Jeremiah said, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ As a Christian, if we want to change this world, which lies under the hand of the evil one, besides prayer, all we can do is hurry up and spread the gospel.”

Platinum Gospel—Grace Road, in a post titled 03/03 Prayer, said, “Father, please have mercy on the city of Kunming. Our dear flesh and blood live there and their grief is our grief, their tears are our tears!”

It continues, “Please send your Spirit to personally comfort them and may they be completely filled by your love. Cause them to receive strength from you, because in love there is peace, and in love there is no fear! We pray with one accord, in the name of Emmanuel, Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Yang wrote in a post, “’Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth’ (1 Corinthians. 13:6). Anyone that injures someone, endangers society, or does evil in the name of religion, well, that is not religion, but his own wickedness and hypocrisy, a faith kidnapped by hatred. This kind of person is ignorant and arrogant, and runs counter to the truth! Kunming, may the dead rest in peace and the living be strong! Pray for our country!”

Pastor Wei Feng posted, “Regarding what happened in Kunming, Christians should not harbour a heart of revenge against any person or ethnic group. However, we support the government in its fight against terrorism and to arrest and fairly judge the criminals, so that justice will be displayed and the people will be protected.”

He adds, “We must also pray for Xinjiang. God loves the world and this includes those who are pray to false gods and hatred. May the gospel that brings peace and forgives sin enter deep into the hearts of the people in Xinjiang. May there be peace between ethnic groups and may they move forward together.”

Another post entitled, The Kunming Incident, asks, “What is it that we Christians are really dealing with? For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The Spirit of Jabez wrote, “On March 1, there was a catastrophic outbreak of violence in Kunming. While we mourn for the dead, I ask Christians also to pray for the peace of our nation. Ask God to protect our country and ask him to touch the terrorists that they will repent and choose the right path. Also, ask God to strengthen our country and keep our people healthy.”

It continues, “Lord, please accept the souls of those who died and give them eternal rest. Please comfort the families of those who were injured and those who died, helping them to quickly emerge from the shadow cast by the fear and pain of losing loved ones.

 

“May Christ’s light of peace shine on the earth, dispelling the haze of hatred. Make every Christian and kind person into your tools of peace. Where there is hatred, sow love, where there is injury, sow forgiveness. In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen!”

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