Recent news reports tell shocking descriptions of government repression in the province of Xinjiang in China, including stories of re-education centers and detention camps. The Chinese government has attempted to clamp down on reporting in the region.
How should Christians respond in this situation? One Chinese Christian who grew up in Xinjiang shares his thoughts and prayers for his Xinjiang brethren. In this article, “Andy” writes an open letter to his Uyghur friends in Xinjiang who are experiencing this repression.
A Letter to the Uyghurs in Xinjiang
I have long wanted to write you this letter, but never knew where to start. Today I finally plucked up my courage to start writing this letter that perhaps you might never get a chance to read.
I am a Han Chinese, but, like you, both of us were born and bred in Xinjiang. I remember playing with you all when I was young, catching crickets together, swimming together, racing in the Gobi sands together . . .
Every Chinese New Year you would come to visit a Han home. We would eat, drink, and make a general racket together. During your Eid al-Adha, we would visit your homes. We would also eat, drink, and make a general racket together. There was no suspicion between us, no barrier of race or religion. You are a great-hearted, authentic people who sing and dance freely, with no falsehood . . .
I do not remember when it happened, but Xinjiang changed suddenly, and became unrecognizable to me. I started praying and pleading with God to give me wisdom to see what was actually happening. Slowly, I started seeing more clearly, that the powers of evil were using hate to begin their slaughter. This terrifying reality is now happening! I can hear my heart crying, I really can.
How many times have I travelled Xinjiang in dreams. I see those snow-covered mountains all four seasons. I urge my horse to a gallop on the broad grasslands. I cannot see the end of the deserts. And those desert poplars are so beautiful my heart weeps. The calm of Sayram Lake, the fragrance of roast meat. I am unwilling to wake up from my dreams, afraid that I can no longer see these.
I have too many, too many beautiful memories of Xinjiang that cannot be forgotten. My love for you is only contained in my prayers. Because I feel so helpless, I pray that the Jesus who is most precious to me will help you.
I suppose that the only thing I can really do for you is to introduce you to my most precious Jesus. Because in the Bible, he has promised me, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). I ask him, and I think he will surely listen to my prayers.
I don’t want to talk too much about the religion, history, land, and peoples of Xinjiang, because I know that is a trap. That would be an endless debate. The false history that we’ve heard from others would only make our lives meaningless and valueless, would only cause us to become machines of hatred and slaughter. I do not want hate and lies to blind my eyes, to kidnap me. I know that is the scheme of Satan.
Even if the entire world has abandoned you, I think Jesus would not abandon you and me. Because he once said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37). Let us walk away from this mindless hate, bravely facing and crushing the hate woven from lies and fears.
I sincerely ask you to bravely hold out your hand, to open your wounded heart, to lay down the hate that comes from the Evil One. Let us walk away from this world of lies. I know that you are unable to do this, but I believe that Jesus is able. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Give Jesus a chance, and Jesus will give you freedom. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Xinjiang has suffered too much! It has gone down too many crooked paths in history! I think I am tired, and you are tired as well! I want this all to change! I no longer want to see history’s hatred resurface in this dry and parched land. Let us wash it all away with the sacrificial love of Jesus! Let Xinjiang once again become a blessed land flowing with milk and honey! Let us boldly forget what lies behind and press on toward the goal of peace.
Come! Our Xinjiang has gone down so many crooked paths, what is one more time? Then give Jesus a chance! See what Jesus might bring us. Let us pray for Jesus to watch over our futures, Xinjiang’s futures. Give him a chance of a thousand years, and I believe that he will give us the surprise of a thousand years.
The Bible says clearly, if you believe him, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Below is a prayer to accept Jesus. If you are willing to accept Jesus, please believe in your heart and confess him with your mouth. Please read this prayer of acceptance:
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you for choosing me among hundreds of millions of people, so that I can follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my transgressions in the past and all my sins. Today, I am willing to lay myself down. I am willing to leave my soul in your hands. And I ask you to guide and lead me, to be the lord of my life. I pray that you will protect my peace and joy, and make me into someone you delight in. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen.
I also sincerely ask Lord Jesus to help the different peoples of Xinjiang lay down their hate. That you use your love to stop and to heal the scars of races, religions, and history. I know that I cannot do this. But with you, all things are possible. We willingly lay all this in your hands through pray, asking that you will accomplish it. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Original Article: Submitted to ChinaSource and translated, edited, and posted with permission.
Image credit: nhluoj on Pixabay.
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