Christmas tree lights made by imprisoned Chinese pastors

from the WorldServe website
short video here
However, there is another story in each strand of Christmas lights, told in the little paper tag on the cord: Made in China. This story also has a powerful link to Jesus; Chinese pastors and believers, imprisoned for sharing their faith, perform much of the tedious manual labor. Many believers in China are persecuted and suffer greatly for professing Jesus as Lord and sharing His message of hope with others. For these Chinese pastors and believers, the same Christmas lights that remind Westerners of joy, togetherness, and peace are a harsh reminder of prison, pain and beatings.

The Facts
Most of the world is unaware of the torture that Chinese believers suffer.
While China presents a picture of increasing religious tolerance, Christians face constant harassment and the most intense persecution in the world.
On September 8, 1999, the Public Security Bureau classified house churches in China as "illegal cults."
As recently as August 2006, over 200 pastors were arrested for sharing their faith.
Upon arrest, believers are often immediately beaten.
Christians are usually thrown into prison without trial.
A prisoner's diet is generally 500 calories per day, the equivalent of two small bowls of soup and one roll.
While in prison, believers work hard labor for 16-20 hours per day and must try to meet impossible quotas.
When believers do not meet quota, they are beaten and sent back to finish the job, even if they must start the next day's work without sleep.
Some imprisoned believers have reported receiving only one glass of water each day; it was their choice to drink it or use it for a shower.

What is so Torturous About Making Christmas Lights?
Imagine sitting on cold or muddy ground with only a huge box of lights and wire in front of you. Without tools of any kind, you must assemble 3000–5000 lights per day. There is no time for rest or breaks. Quickly, your fingers become numb and bloody. Your teeth serve as your only crimping tools. Even as you work to complete your tasks, you know that you will be beaten severely if you don't get it all done.


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