As the Pandemic Rages, Will Mankind Repeat Its Past Mistake?
(Minghui.org) The novel coronavirus broke out in late 2019, and after a slight break in the summer of 2020, it returned at the end of last year with new mutated strains that significantly increased infection and death rates. Even with a mask, one could breathe the fear of the unknown in the air.
From ancient times to the modern day, several prophecies point to a catastrophic and deadly plague around this time. Now the pressing question before us is: How big will the current coronavirus plague get? If the future is as tragic as described in the prophecies, how can one survive it?
To find the answer, we can look to some clues from the great plagues of ancient Rome about two thousand years ago.
Persecution of Christians and Plagues in Ancient Rome
In 33 A.D., after Jesus was put to death in the province of Judea, some of his followers witnessed the miracle of Jesus' resurrection. The number of Christians kept increasing after that.
On July 17, 64 AD, a fire broke out in the ancient city of Rome, engulfing the whole city. In the flames, some people witnessed Nero, the fifth emperor of ancient Rome, standing at the top of a tower, playing the lyre and singing folk songs about the fall of Troy. The fire burned for six days and seven nights.
After the incident, Nero insisted that the arsonists were Christians and began to arrest them, calling them “cultists.” Although many people believed that Nero had ordered the army to set the fire, they were afraid and unwilling to look into the truth in the face of Nero's tyranny.
Immediately afterward, various rumors about Christians' “baby-killing,” “binge drinking,” and “incestuous behavior” began to fly, and the public began to despise and hate Christians. Riding on this “public opinion,” Nero's persecution of Christians became even more unscrupulous.
The ancient Roman historian Tacitus described the following in his Annals: “In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights. Nero offered his own garden players for the spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the dress of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot.”
Most of the people of ancient Rome at the time applauded the horrific persecution of Christians.
In 65 A.D., a plague broke out in the city, claiming more than 30,000 lives. This plague was, in fact, a prelude to a series of plagues that struck ancient Rome. In 68 A.D., a riot broke out in Rome and Nero ended his brutal life by stabbing his own throat with a dagger. However, the outbreak of the plague and the tragic death of Nero did not provoke much reflection among the ancient Romans.
In 79 A.D., an even larger plague quickly swept through Rome. According to Tacitus, at its peak, more than 10,000 people died every day. Houses were filled with corpses, and the streets were filled with lines for funerals. The plague also took the life of then-emperor Titus. This plague, although fierce, was not ranked among the four great plagues of ancient Rome.
After the death of Titus, his successor Domitian did not restrain himself and instead forced people to worship him as “Lord and God.” He persecuted those Christians who did not want to do so. The emperor Trajan, who came after Domitian, intensified the persecution of the Christians and killed Ignatius, the second bishop of Antioch, by having him torn apart by a fierce beast.
In 125 A.D., the Plague of Orosius broke out, accompanied by swarms of locusts.
Plagues Strike One After Another
The Orosius Plague, which took the lives of nearly a million people, was recorded by later generations as the first of four great plagues in ancient Rome.
In 161 A.D., Marcus Aurelius became Emperor of Ancient Rome, and upon assuming power, he became the first emperor to order the eradication of Christians throughout the country. Aurelius rewarded those who reported Christians, even to the point of giving the reported Christians' property directly to informants. For Christians who did not renounce their faith, Aurelius either ordered their execution outright or had them thrown into the Colosseum to be torn apart by fierce beasts.
In 166 A.D., a second great plague struck ancient Rome and lasted 15 years, killing more than 5 million people and taking Aurelius’s life as well. It was recorded in history that, “As the strength of the body is dissolved, the bowels dissipate in a flow; a fire that begins in the inmost depths burns up into wounds in the throat... the intestines are shaken with continuous vomiting ... the eyes are set on fire from the force of the blood ... as weakness prevails through the failures and losses of the bodies, the gait is crippled or the hearing is blocked or the vision is blinded ...”
Emperor Decius came to power in 249 A.D., when the ancient Roman Empire was already in crisis. Instead of reflecting on the short lives of his predecessors, Decius believed that the lax control over Christians and allowing them to have faith was what led to the decline of the empire. Therefore, Decius made the persecution of Christians his first priority.
In 250 A.D., Decius issued a decree that forced every Roman citizen to renounce his faith in Christ on a chosen day of repentance. Those who refused were imprisoned, killed, enslaved, or had their property confiscated.
In the same year, a third plague hit ancient Rome, this time on a much larger scale. Known as the “Cyprian Plague,” it lasted about 20 years and killed 25 million people, making it one of the most serious plagues in human history.
In 303 A.D., then-Emperor Diocletian initiated another brutal persecution of Christians. Churches were destroyed, bibles were seized and destroyed, and missionaries and Christians were slaughtered. In 312 A.D., the plague broke out again in western Rome, and the continuing catastrophe hit the Roman Empire hard.
In 395 A.D., the Empire split into two halves, east and west, and disasters continued. In 476, the Western Roman Empire was destroyed by barbarians. The surviving Eastern Romans, due to years of betrayal to the gods, suffered from overall moral decline, contempt for life, and indulgence in sex, promiscuity, incest, and adultery.
From 541 to 542 AD, the fourth and largest plague of ancient Rome came, known as the “The Plague of Justinian.” It killed 16,000 people a day at its peak and took the life of Emperor Justinian. This great plague repeated four more times, killing 30-50 million people in total, making it the most serious plague in ancient Roman history.
The continued persecution of Christians was accompanied by repeated plagues. The once-magnificent Roman Empire, with its 120 million people, was wiped out.
In 680 AD, the survivors finally came to their senses and began to condemn the persecution of Christians by those in power and denounce the moral decline of society. The citizens of Rome took to the streets one after another, holding the holy bones of the Christian saint Sebastian in procession, and made a devout confession to God. The awakening of man was finally forgiven by God, and from then on the great plague in the city of Rome disappeared completely.
A New Persecution 2,000 Years Later
On January 23, 2001, the Eve of Chinese New Year, most people in the country were at home reuniting with their relatives, and TV ratings peaked. Suddenly, the scene of five people on fire at Tiananmen Square appeared on the screen. There were men and women, young and old. The raging flames shocked the country. Even more heartbreaking was the scene of a little girl and her mother, who were facing the camera.
This “self-immolation” took place about a year and a half after Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), launched the persecution of Falun Gong. After the incident, Jiang Zemin's group insisted that the “self-immolators” were Falun Gong practitioners and forwarded the English version of the “breaking news” to the world just two hours after the incident.
Danny Schechter, an independent U.S. filmmaker, said this was rather unusual because often the CCP's official media had a tendency to hide sensitive events, and even when they did report them, they had to go through layers of scrutiny.
Deceiving the Public and Committing Unpardonable Evil
Although the “self-immolation” was so flawed that it was later identified by the United Nations Educational Development Organization as CCP-directed fake news, its intense visual impact on television and overwhelming coverage by the CCP's official media left the Chinese public with no time to think about what was behind the farce. Moreover, most people didn't expect that a government would stage such a vicious event to frame cultivators who practice “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” the core principles of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.
The “self-immolation” ignited people's anger, and many people who once supported Falun Gong began to turn away from its practitioners and treated them with contempt and hatred. With this turn in public opinion, Jiang Zemin escalated his persecution of Falun Gong even more brazenly, just as Nero did to the Christians.
In order to force Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief, the CCP has subjected practitioners to kidnapping, home ransacking, dismissal from work, heavy fines, imprisonment, torture, brainwashing, forced labor, rape, gang rape, and even organ harvesting. The degree of evil is simply unprecedented.
Plagues in Modern Times
In November 2002, the SARS virus broke out in Guangdong Province and soon made its way north to Beijing, where Jiang Zemin instructed that “stability is needed for prosperity” and “even with two million dead it’s still worth the cost.” In April 2003, the plague struck the central government compound of Zhongnanhai and brought down two Politburo Standing Committee members, Luo Gan and Wu Guanzheng, two of Jiang's powerful cadres in persecuting Falun Gong.
Soon after Jiang fled to Shanghai to avoid the plague, the virus followed him there. In no time, many people in Shanghai were infected with SARS. With Jiang’s insistence that “stability overrides everything,” the official positive number of cases remained at four. Locals in Shanghai said, “What a joke! I live in a building where five people have SARS.” It is estimated that many people in China died of SARS at the time. However, given Jiang’s internal orders that local officials would be dismissed on the spot if SARS outbreaks occurred in their jurisdiction, the official figures were far lower than the actual death toll.
After the epidemic subsided, Jiang’s group did not reflect on the situation and intensified its persecution of Falun Gong, vigorously pushing forward the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. Fearing that Falun Gong would one day be vindicated, Jiang enticed a significant number of government officials and those in the legal system to take part in the campaign.
In the ten years after Jiang Zemin, the main perpetrator of the persecution, stepped down, the persecution of Falun Gong continued through the reign of two Party leaders. Out of concern for their own interests, governments around the world have mostly remained silent in the face of this persecution. Even though some governments have openly condemned the persecution, they took no concrete actions to stop it.
Plague of the Century
On January 23, 2020, Wuhan announced a lockdown of the city, and the world was informed of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. This day happened to be the 19th anniversary of the self-immolation hoax. The virus quickly spread around the world, and in just a few months, turned into a plague of the century.
Despite the Communist Party's efforts to conceal the death toll, it is easy for outsiders to get a glimpse of the tragic nature of the plague from Wuhan’s overloaded funeral parlors, the rush of mobile incinerators from out of town to assist Wuhan, and the distribution of huge quantities of urns in the city.
Despite this, the CCP did not pull back in its persecution of Falun Gong and launched a massive “Zero Out” harassment campaign in the first half of 2020 that continued throughout the year, while the plague raged.
According to statistics from Minghui.org, in the year 2020, 622 Falun Gong practitioners in 149 cities across 27 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities were sentenced for their faith. Among them, 114 were aged 65 or older and 11 were in their 80s. The court fines of 265 practitioners added to nearly 2.8 million yuan. Over 7 million yuan were extorted or confiscated from 401 practitioners during their arrests.
In addition, the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office have openly incited “everyone to participate” in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in many provinces and cities, offering “reporting bonuses” of up to 100,000 yuan.
It was only after the four great plagues in ancient Rome, in which more than half of the population perished, that the people who had survived began to come to their senses, stopped persecuting Christians, and learned to repent devoutly to God. Finally, the great plagues disappeared completely.
A German philosopher once said, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” It seems that this statement is about to be verified again. The coronavirus is raging in China, but the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong continues, and those who value profit over conscience are still dancing with the devil.
A new variant of coronavirus has become more infectious and is spreading rapidly around the world. Both the scientific and spiritual communities are warning that a larger-scale plague may be coming soon.
If the great plague is really inevitable, then how should individuals escape disaster? In fact, when the great plagues in ancient Rome were raging, many people saw that Christians were not infected. After reflection, some people began to listen to Christian teachings and prayed to God during the plagues, resulting in miraculous cures for many people.
If someone were to offer you a remedy to avoid the pandemic today, under the pressure of being misunderstood, ridiculed, or persecuted, what would you choose?