Some have asked me what path the church should take today. I answer: Unquestionably, the path of the apostles. That is, follow the footsteps of the apostles by imitating their courageous and firm stand, not being afraid of any threatenings, not holding life dear, being faithful unto death, not pleasing men. Even while meeting resistance, we should still preach the gospel and teach God’s words to people. The one who can do this will be blessed by God and used by God. He may indeed meet what the apostles met in persecution, but he will also accomplish what the apostles accomplished. Without doubt, God’s glory and great power will be manifested through him just as it was manifested in that day through the apostles.
— Wang Ming-Dao, from A Call to the Church from Wang Ming-Dao
Persecution often has an effect opposite of what is planned by the persecutors. The church father Tertullian wrote that the martyrdom of faithful Christians actually spurred the growth of the early church: ...1