No human act can equal the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for all mankind. But it is nonetheless appropriate during this Easter season to reflect on those who, inspired by Christ's example, risk everything for their faith.
Communist North Korea recently said it is readying an indictment of an American citizen, Jun Young Su, who was arrested for spreading Christianity in that repressive nation. If found "guilty," he might be sent to one of North Korea's dreaded labor camps - or executed outright.
Meanwhile, in Communist China, the government has forcibly evicted members of a large "house church." The church's leaders have mostly been taken into custody or placed under house arrest, and scores of worshippers who tried to pray publicly have been rounded up.
"[W]e cannot give up our church family and our faith," the church's choir director told The New York Times shortly before about 160 worshippers were arrested.
It is estimated that there are thousands of cases each year of church members in China being arrested or beaten.
Surely it was to believers such as those that Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."