Underground Church Reaches Teens for Christ

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Sunday, November 12, 2006.

The camouflaged bodies stealthily make their way through tall weeds and dense woods. Alert to the enemy and aware that the crack of a twig could expose them, the young people focus on their goal—a small shack, seemingly invisible amid the trees.

No, this isn’t a scene from “Lost.” Nearly 100 high school students from East Lincoln Alliance Church in Amery, Wisconsin, and surrounding communities are playing the role of believers who must meet secretly to worship God together. The annual event, called the Underground Church, is designed to reach teens for Christ through testimonies of persecuted Christians.

On the way to the building, the group is “ambushed” by adults pretending to be law officers, who use high-powered spotlights to interrogate the youth. Those who profess Christ are “ridiculed” and taken to “jail.” Eventually, all are taken inside the shed, where they are greeted by a guest speaker who has been persecuted because of his faith.

Today, more than 200 million Christians worldwide face persecution. They stand firm in their conviction to worship God in places where preaching the gospel is illegal, and those who violate the law pay with their lives. These believers plead for prayer to help them endure.

After giving his testimony of growing up in a country under communist rule and sharing stories about pastors who were severely persecuted for their faith, a C&MA missionary candidate presented the gospel and invited the youth to respond to the Call of God. Thirty young people made commitments to follow Jesus!

Eric Danielson, associate pastor of the church and organizer of the event, said, “I heard a missionary leader say that suffering and martyrdom are used by God, designed to spread the fame of His Name to all peoples. I thought that it only happened in nations that are hostile to Christianity. But for several years now, the testimonies of persecuted Christians from other countries have been winning people to Christ here in rural Wisconsin!”


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