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2008 Summer Olympics Beijing

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Communist leader threatens:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The future of the persecuted church in China will be "darker before it becomes brighter," Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, told Baptist Press as the Olympics drew to a close in Beijing.       "Given the increased persecution before and even during the Olympic Games in spite of international attention, we can only expect persecution to increase in severity in the year following the Olympic Games," Fu said.       Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also acknowledged a challenge ahead for the Chinese citizenry now that thousands of tourists have headed for home.       "We need to pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ as they struggle in their country for freedom of conscience and freedom of faith," Land said in a statement to Baptist Press.       Fu, who met with President Bush at the White House days before Bush left to attend the opening ceremony in Beijing, noted several occurrences prior to and during the Games that indicate where the country might be headed in terms of religious freedom.       "The first and most notable was the detention of House Church Alliance president Zhang Mingxuan and his wife," Fu said. "The second was the deceptive arrangements made by the Communist Party of China to accommodate President George W. Bush's visit to a house church in Beijing.       "The Chinese government staged a house church, replacing normal members with government officials," Fu stated. "Public Security Bureau authorities also tried to detain pastor Hua Huiqi for his attempt to attend the service with President Bush.

China house church leader weighed Scripture & culture

BEIJING (BP)--Yu Jie will quickly tell you that the Ark Church in Beijing is not underground.       Many churches in China are indeed underground and try to operate without detection.

Chinese open to American witness

BEIJING (BP)--American visitors to China have something on their side that their Chinese brothers and sisters don't have in the task of proclaiming the Gospel: They're from an intriguing, prosperous nation half a globe away.

Olympic impact echoes in eternity, volunteers say

BEIJING (BP)--Images from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing remain indelibly etched in the minds of millions of people, who either attended the games or followed them closely on television.       There's the grandeur of the opening ceremony and the quirkiness of the Bird's Nest architecture. Michael Phelps winning an Olympic record eight gold medals. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt zooming to three gold medals and three world records. The U.S. volleyball team rebounding from the tragic death of Todd Bachman, father-in-law of coach Hugh McCutcheon, to win gold.       As China extinguished the Olympic flame in the closing ceremony on Sunday and handed off responsibility for the 2012 Olympics to the city of London, the 2008 Olympics were relegated to history. And history will most likely be kind to China for the way in which it hosted the Olympics.

FROM THE OLYMPICS: U.S. ‘Redeem Team’ duo adds perspective to redemption

BEIJING (BP)--They called themselves the "Redeem Team," and at least two of the U.S. men's gold medal basketball team know an added something about the word: ...

LETTER FROM CHINA, ‘Now is the time of opportunity’ missionary Lottie Moon said

TENGCHOW, China--The attitude of the Chinese toward foreigners in 1873 was that of utter hatred and contempt.

Olympian shunned abortion; now has son & bronze medal

BEIJING (BP)--Tasha Danvers chose her unborn child four years ago over her hopes for an Olympic medal. Now she has both.       Running for Great Britain, Danvers won the bronze medal Aug. 20 in the women's 400 meter hurdles, with a personal best time of 53.84 seconds. Jamaican Melaine Walker won the gold medal with a time of 52.64; American Sheena Tosta claimed the silver at 53.70.       In early 2004, Danvers appeared to be a good prospect for a medal at the Olympics in Athens. She was the sixth-ranked hurdler in the world. Then, she learned she was pregnant.       Danvers reportedly was pressured by some in the track and field world to have an abortion. She admitted later that she and her American husband-coach Darrell Smith briefly considered that choice.       "[T]he thought did cross our minds as an option," Danvers told the Telegraph, a London newspaper, in May 2004 before citing Mark 8:36. "But this line from the Scriptures kept coming into my head: 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?'       "For me, the whole world was the Olympics. At the same time, I felt I would be losing my soul."       She gave birth to a son, Jaden, in December 2004 and started on the road back to the Olympics. Her surprising bronze medal in Beijing came after a series of health setbacks, including an injured Achilles tendon and torn hamstring muscle, had produced a disappointing pre-Olympics season.       "Don't ever give up," Danvers said after winning the bronze medal, according to The Times of London.

Now saved, boxing manager helps others

BEIJING (BP)--Joe Smith had it all planned out -- or at least he thought so. He forgot one detail that proved to be his salvation.       A suicide note left for his wife? Check.       A loaded .45-caliber pistol? Check.

FROM THE OLYMPICS: Bryan Clay gets decathlon gold; Robinson, BMX bronze

BEIJING (BP)--Bryan Clay, in winning the gold medal in the decathlon Aug. 22 and the unofficial title of "world's greatest athlete," tallied the largest margin of victory in the epic Olympic competition since 1972.

God’s call motivates marathoner in Beijing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Ryan Hall, a native of Big Bear Lake, Calif., set a U.S. Olympic Trials marathon record on Nov. 3, 2007, when he qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in a time of 2:09:02 on the Central Park course in New York.