This photo and the ones preceding introduce you to one facet of the persecuted church. It is not the story of those that are martyred (although that happens too). These are the stories, vignettes and glimpses of those who must endure. They experience a lifestyle of endurance, a lifetime of patient subjection to authority that seems determined to crush their faith. Some falter and fall victim to the ever-resent weight of fear, harassment and isolation. And for others, the pressure tends to purify. They begin to truly understand the simplicity of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus. Instead of sliding uncontrollably into the insidious trap of hatred toward their persecutors, they respond in prayer and love. Yet, they know and live under the shadow of the fact that this Gospel they live could get them killed. To protect their identity, the faces of these Christian pastors and church workers can not be fully disclosed.
©Copyright Gary S. Chapman
(Canon 5D, 24-105 @ 105mm, 1/200 sec., f5.6, ISO 500)