Want some ideas on how to make your Secret Church service more authentic. Then use these ideas (all taken from our lovely Secret Church Guide)!
In Afghanistan possessing a Bible is difficult and dangerous, so believers memorise the Scriptures. In Vietnam, one group of Christians had such a shortage of Bibles that they had to prove how much they really wanted one by learning Psalm 119 off by heart – a total of 176 verses! Even then that only got them on the waiting list.
So… print out some verses from the Bible. People simply have to memorise a verse and then write it out from memory. And when they’ve done that …
In North Korea if a believer is caught in possession of a Bible, it means detention in one of the country’s many horrific labour camps. Some Christians have ‘sock Bibles’ – small Bibles which secret believers can hide down their socks.
So… those who have written out a memory verse have to hide it down their socks. Or perhaps they might like to copy out a longer piece of Scripture.
In some Muslim countries, Christians are forbidden from using the word ‘Allah’ to describe God. In North Korea it is dangerous to use certain normal Christian terms.
So… in pairs tell one another how you became a Christian. But obey the following rules.
Do not use…
Bible/Scripture/Word of God
Talking to Father
Then discuss how easy or hard you found it. What would life be like if you couldn’t use these ordinary words?
In many places, when Christians meet in houses, they worship in silence for fear of their neighbours hearing them. So they ‘sing’ without actually making a sound.
So… pass round the words of a hymn. ‘Sing’ it together, but as silently as possible.
In Eritrea, secret believers have been imprisoned in disused shipping containers in the desert, where the temperature can reach 40 degrees Celsius. And yet still they sing hymns and worship songs.
So… using rope or tape on the floor or chairs, mark out a rectangle the size of a shipping container. Make it 8ft wide, and either 20ft or 40ft long. Then everyone gather together in there. Now sing a hymn. Just like Eritrean believers do.
In North Korea, Holy Communion can be practised only once or twice a year in remote areas. Bread and wine are rarely available so they use biscuits, or fruit and juice. Some Vietnamese Christian prisoners told how they shared Communion using ‘food and honey to represent the bread and wine’.
So… celebrate Communion using non-traditional elements. Use crackers and fruit juice, or a biscuit dipped in honey. Or tear and share flatbread and dip it in olive oil. And remember those who remember Jesus in the best way that they can.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.