In a country where the open practice of Christianity is illegal, an underground church service was being held late in the evening, when in the middle of prayer, the doors flew open and several armed guards stormed the small sanctuary. One hooded man stood at the front with a weapon in hand and told the frightened parishioners that they had to denounce their faith or else they would die. Those who were to deny their beliefs were to leave the building immediately.
Terrified and visibly shaking, many grabbed their coats and jackets and ran for the door. Others began to cry loudly, clinging to each other. The gunman yelled, "Are you ready to die for your faith!" A scattered few jumped to their feet and ran towards the door.
One last time, the gunman shouted that those who were willing to die must raise their hands over their heads and close their eyes. Only a few remained and with hands trembling and tears streaming down their faces, they did as they were told. The gunman yelled for the doors to be locked.
And with that, the weapons fell to floor as did the men to their knees. And then the gunman said, "My brothers and sisters, keep your hands up in praise for we, too, are believers who have been persecuted for the faith!" They went to explain that because they were living in such dangerous times, they needed to know without any doubt, who would flee and who would lay down their lives for the love of Jesus.
Remembering those in South Carolina...