Brother Yun, formerly imprisoned in China more than 10 years for proclaiming the name of Jesus, personifies Oxford research regarding benefits of singing

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Copy of the original autograph score of G F Handel’s Messiah with "Hallelujah."
(Photo: Flickr)

(ChinaAid, Webinex—Dec. 13, 2020) Throughout the Webinex ChinaAid hosted December 5, "Let the Church Rise ...," Brother Yun, previously imprisoned and suffering for more than 10 years in numerous Chinese prisons for proclaiming the name of Jesus, smiled as he sang out several times,"

Hallelujah... Hallelujah... Hallelujah...*

The Bible tells us that Paul rejoiced in suffering, Brother Yun said. He reminded those attending the seminar that the Bible also warns that Christians will struggle with suffering, but, he encouraged, no prison bars nor prison walls, not even the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—nothing can ever separate those who belong to Christ from God's love. 

During Brother Yun's years in prison, remembering Bible verses, recounting promises from "the Word," and singing praises to God comforted and strengthened him. As he regularly sang in prison, he became known as "the singing prisoner." At one point, however, following four days of severe torture and darkness, he could not sing. 

But then several days later, one of the guards blurted out, “Sing another song,” 

He did. 

Today, he continues to sing one of the songs though which he rejoiced during his season of suffering:

Hallelujah... Hallelujah... Hallelujah....


The University of Oxford reports:

The physiological benefits of singing, and music more generally, have long been explored. Music making exercises the brain as well as the body, but singing is particularly beneficial for improving breathing, posture and muscle tension. Listening to and participating in music has been shown to be effective in pain relief, too, probably due to the release of neurochemicals such as β-endorphin (a natural painkiller responsible for the “high” experienced after intense exercise).

There’s also some evidence to suggest that music can play a role in sustaining a healthy immune system, by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and boosting the Immunoglobin A antibody.

Music has been used in different cultures throughout history in many healing rituals, and is already used as a therapy in our own culture (for the relief of mental illness, breathing conditions and language impairment, for example). Everyone can sing – however much we might protest – meaning it is one of the most accessible forms of music making, too. Song is a powerful therapy indeed.


As Brother Yun learned and encourages, just as research confirms, during times and seasons of suffering, one may find comfort by rejoicing through singing.


*Hallelujah appears 24 times in the Old Testament, but only in 15 different Psalms, called the "Hallelujah Psalms," between Psalms 104-150.

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