A City upon a Hill by Jinghong Cai

A City upon a Hill

by Jinghong Cai

On Sunday, July 6, I attended a church service imbued with patriotic sentiment; it was my first time commemorating the 4th of July in church in the United States. Church members from different countries together sang a special "liturgical song"—the first and last verses of the American national anthem. As we raised our voices to intone, "Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just / And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust,'" I burst into tears. Although I am not a U.S. citizen yet, I can't help being enormously proud of this country, the "land of the free and the home of the brave," over which that Star-Spangled Banner is waving.

The Struggles of the Shouwang Church

This emotional celebration of freedom, however, evoked painful recollections of the hardships fellow Christians in my native China are enduring in their pursuit to have a true Christian church in my home city of Beijing. In 2011, Time magazine reported on such a church:

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