Christian Prisoners in Recent Times (1901–Present)

Sing Sing cell block, New York Public Library.

How do moderns face prison compared to Christians of earlier periods? Imprisoned by the Communists, the Chinese Jesuit bishop, Francis Xavier Ts’ai, was forbidden to even move his lips in prayer. He used to repeat inwardly, “My good Jesus, glorify yourself, and the rest counts for little.”

Communism was a major antagonist of Christians in the twentieth century, although by no means the only one. The Nazis, for example, sent many Christians to prison and to death. Under Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism untold thousands suffered incarceration and death.

Here are a few records from our godless era, in which more Christians suffered persecution than at any other in history. They did so with no less courage than their predecessors.