"I became aware of the slow wearing-down process the government was exerting on Christians. The effort seemed to be centered on the children. Leave the old folks alone, but wean the young people away from the church.
One of the first churches Nikola and I visited was a Roman Catholic one in a small village not far from Zagreb. I noticed that there was not a single person under twenty in the entire congregation, and I asked Nikola about it. In answer he introduced me to a peasant woman who had a ten-year-old son.
"Tell Brother Andrew why Josif is not here," said Nikola.
"Why is my Josif not with me? she asked. Her voice was bitter. "Because I am a peasant woman with no education. The teacher tells my son there is no God. The government tells my son there is no God. They say to my Josif, 'Maybe your Mama tells you differently, but we know better, don't we? You must remember that Mama has no education. We will humor her.' So? My Josif is not with me. I am being humored."
A few days later in another town, we were visiting a Christian family when I saw a little girl playing in the dust outside the house in the middle of the day.
"Why isn't she in school?" I asked Nikola.
From the mother he learned the story. Marta was accostomed to saying grace before meals at home. When it came time for the school lunch, Marta had given thanks aloud as she always did, without even thinking about it. The teacher had been angry. Who had supplied this food, God or the people through their own good government? "That was a wicked thing to say, Marta. You will fill the other children's minds with nonsense."
But the next day, so deeply was the habit ingrained, that Marta did it again, and for this she had been expelled."
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
My Commonplace Book... God's Smuggler
I am currently reading God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew. I came upon the following passage and thought it showed America to a T. Brother Andrew was behind the Iron Curtain in Yugoslavia. Just as they tried to stamp out Christ and Christianity there, America is trying the same!