Third-century Christian apologist Tertullian once wrote, “If the Tiber floods the city, or if the Nile refuses to rise . . . at once the cry is raised: ‘Christians to the lions!’”
Eighteen hundred years later, Asia News reports that “strange and anonymous” messages on Chinese social media are blaming Christian gatherings and activities for a recent Christmas-time rise in COVID cases in the Hebei province.
Except, due to government restrictions, no religious gatherings or activities took place in the area over the holiday. The “artfully constructed” fake news was intended to justify further restrictions on Christians.
Local Christians denied the reports, but the damage was already done. Like the saying goes, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” This is especially true when, to again quote Tertullian, what matters to our enemies is not our actual guilt, “but simply the confession of the Christian name.”
Oxford Reference | 2016
Shan Ren Shen Fu | Asia News | January 8, 2021
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