(Minghui.org) The Roman Empire was one of the most glorious periods in history. But the execution of Jesus was a bad omen preceding its decline and eventual collapse. Pontius Pilate, then governor of the Roman province of Judea, knew Jesus was innocent but chose to crucify him anyway, leaving a serious lesson in history and for the future.

Succumbing to Evil

As Jesus gained more followers, Jewish priests and elders were afraid fewer people would worship them. Out of jealousy, they paid Judas 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus. After arresting Jesus, the priests tried him, beat him, and took him to Pilate.

“I find no basis for a charge against this man,” he told the crowd. But they did not listen and maintained their accusations against Jesus.

Upon hearing that Jesus was a Galilean who was under the jurisdiction of Herod the Great, King of Judea, Pilate turned Jesus over to Herod. Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked Jesus before returning him to Pilate.

Although it was tradition to release one prisoner at Passover, the crowd would rather release the criminal Barabbas instead of Jesus. Although Pilate whipped Jesus several times, he asked the crowd if he could release Jesus, but the crowd kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify!”

“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said to Jesus. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus replied, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

As the crowd continued demanding Jesus’s crucifixion, Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he announced. “It is your responsibility!”

“His blood is on us and on our children!” shouted the crowd.

In the end, Pilate sentenced Jesus to be crucified.

The Price of Acting Against 's OneConscience

Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but he gave in to the crowd and decided to execute him anyway. By doing that, he succumbed to evil and sealed his own fate.

Pilate had numerous hints as well. His son was cured by Jesus, and his wife also believed in Jesus. His wife tried to stop him. “We don’t have anything to do with that innocent man,” she wrote.

But Pilate did not listen. Several supernatural events occurred when Jesus died: darkness descended, the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, and rocks split. “Surely he was the Son of God!” people exclaimed.

Pilate also met his fate. He was exiled and had his assets confiscated. Several years later, he committed suicide.

Judas also lived in misery after betraying Jesus. Even the Jewish priests and elders who paid him despised him. In regret, he returned the 30 pieces of silver and said, “I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” replied the priests, “That’s your responsibility.” Judas nonetheless threw the money in the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The priests said afterward, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”

Modern-Day Religious Persecution in China

Echoing the above-mentioned tragedy, several religious persecutions have been carried out in Chinese history. Zhai Zhongkai, an official in the Sui Dynasty who wrongly killed monk Huike, was later executed. Several emperors also suppressed Buddhism, including Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou, Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei, Emperor Wuzong of Tang, and Emperor Shizong of Later Zhou.

Sadly, religious persecution continues in today’s China. In July 2019, Chengde City police in Hebei Province arrested 34 residents as they were reading the teachings of Falun Gong, a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Some of them were later released, but 13 continued to be detained despite the pandemic.

Officials held a trial against these practitioners at Luanping County court on September 28, 2020. Eleven lawyers defended them. Bao Zhenxin, a prosecutor from Luanping Procuratorate, said to the lawyers before the trial, “I have read many thingss about Falun Gong, and I know these practitioners are innocent. You can defend them whichever way you want in court.”

Presiding judge Zhao Yajun also said, “They [these practitioners] are good people. These days I have received many phone calls from overseas about this case.”

However, these practitioners were sentenced to up to six years of imprisonment and fined.

Incidents like this have been happening across China since July 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong. According to reports from Minghui, 622 Falun Gong practitioners from all walks of life were sentenced to prison in 2020 alone for their belief. They include exemplary employees, billionaires, college professors, Ph.D. holders, teachers, government officials, police officers, journalists, tax administrators, engineers, IT professionals, accountants, translators, managers, business owners, hospital presidents, township officials, and others.

Consequences for Betraying One’s Conscience

As in cases mentioned earlier, some officials know Falun Gong practitioners are innocent, but they choose to do evil in the name of following orders from the CCP. As cases mount, not only these officials but the CCP itself will face serious consequences for the sin.

Song Shixu and Liang Donghua from Xuchang City Intermediate Court in Henan Province were both very active in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Several practitioners, including Ms. Shen Yuehong, Mr. Wang Haisong, Ms. Chang Qing, Mr. Bai Hongmin, and Ms. Qu Chunrong, were sentenced to three to five years. Their trials were held secretly with no family members allowed to attend.

On July 10, 2020, both Song and Liang were investigated. They were then removed from office in January 2021.

Xuchang is one of the areas where Falun Gong was suppressed the worst. Some other officials also received karmic retribution for their actions. Di Huafu, former Xuchang police chief, died of cancer. Li Yinqiu, former deputy police chief of Xuchang, was removed from office. Xie Youcang, Xiangcheng 610 Office director, died suddenly. Several other officials were also removed from office and investigated, including Zhao Zhenhong (former party secretary of the Xuchang Political and Legal Affairs Committee), Zhao Guoliang (former deputy director of the Xuchang Procuratorate), Zhu Jianying (former deputy president of Xuchang Intermediate Court), Wang Xinyao (former judge of Xuchang Intermediate Court), and Peng Jie (former deputy chief of Xuchang Police Department).

A similar pattern has emerged in other areas. At least 527 officials in Beijing have faced consequences. Among them, 163 are from the justice system, including law enforcement, procuratorates, and courts.

Shanghai, the largest city in China, has also been heavily involved in the persecution. One testimony from Lu Shengheng, a resident of Shanghai who currently lives in the U.S., exposed how his relatives, Zhou Qing and Mao Shuping, had participated in forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

At least 75 people in Shanghai have faced consequences for their persecution of Falun Gong. Among them, 38 are from the justice system. Wei Zhiyun, head of the domestic security division in Baoshan District, once claimed, “I do not believe in karmic retribution. I will do things for the CCP since it pays me. People have to die anyway, and I am not afraid.” She also defamed the founder of Falun Gong. About 20 days later, she suddenly collapsed and became incontinent. She died shortly afterwards with her face and body deformed. She was only 42.

Since the CCP took power in 1949, it has caused about 80 million unnatural deaths. The suppression of Falun Gong since 1999 has also affected the lives and families of about 100 million practitioners, as well as a large number of deaths.

A close look at the coronavirus shows that the pandemic traced the path of the CCP’s influence. It started in Wuhan, where, in 1999 a six-hour video was produced by Wuhan television station to defame Falun Gong and used to convince top officials to persecute Falun Gong. While Wuhan was the epicenter of the virus, other areas where Falun Gong suffered the worst also had high numbers of cases, including Shenyang City, Harbin City, Qiqihar City, Sichuan Province, and Xinjiang Province.

All these events tell us that safeguarding one’s conscience and supporting the innocent are critical for one’s health and prosperity.

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Category: Perspective