When we hear the term illegal immigrant our minds instantly race to the southern border, but it is not just refugees crossing the Rio Grande. On September 30th a Chinese national attempted to burn down a centuries-old church in Montgomery Alabama.
Xiaoquin Yan is a 27-year-old woman here illegally after her student visa expired. Yan has been arrested and held on a $30,000 bond. Yan allegedly set multiple fires inside the historic First Baptist Church Montgomery, using lighter fluid and an open flame, yet by the grace of God, none of the fires grew out of control.
— WSFA 12 News (@wsfa12news) September 30, 2021
The Lead Pastor of the Church, Mark Bethea, stated to the media when asked about what he would say to Yan if he had the opportunity to speak with the arsonist, “By God’s grace all of us are sinners and have fallen short of God’s standards and Glory. So as a church we extend God’s love and grace to all people.”
What is the Future of the Church?
Sadly such attacks on Christian churches are on the rise. While many would expect to see such attacks in places like Afghanistan, churches have seen a rise in arson and vandalism cases in Canada and America. Canada has seen a large rise in such cases since the tyrannical Covid lockdowns implemented by the government.
Loved meeting James Coates at G3.
By God’s grace, Coates & his elders—with all his flock—showed the way for the Western church. Tasting persecution, they bravely gathered to worship Christ in Canada. They did not dodge the cost; they paid it.
Salute a warrior when you find one. pic.twitter.com/roRog28ySY
— Owen Strachan (@ostrachan) October 4, 2021
What should Christians do in the face of such hostility? Pastor Mark Bethea’s example is key. We must forgive and love our enemies but we also must never back down from exercising our religious liberty. The Christian Church has a right to gather and hear the word of God in corporate worship. No government has the right to shut the church’s doors.
Moving forward more attacks are likely as hostilities rise between those of faith and the control of the government. It is up to those who share the faith in Jesus Christ to be a light in this world, illustrating what is good and truthful in an age of deceit and chaos. This will not be a comfortable endeavor for the American Church and will test the fortitude of those who claim Christ as King.