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Shouwang Church members were forced
to worship outdoors in 2009.
Photo from ChinaAid

Police in China held "about two dozen" pastors and elders of Beijing's Shouwang Church under house arrest or at police stations over the past weekend to keep them from attending a Sunday worship service in a public location. Hundreds of police cordoned off the walkway to a third-floor outdoor meeting area and arrested at least 160 members of the 1,000-strong church as they tried to assemble. Most have since been released. Three top leaders of the church remain in jail and several others are under strict surveillance.

Church leaders claimed officials pressured landlords, forcing the church out of its locations and leaving the leaders no choice but to worship in the open. "The government cornered them into making this decision," said Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid Association, noting that the church initially tried to register with the government. "They waited for two years, and when the government still denied them registration, they tried to keep a low profile before finally deciding to buy the Daheng New Epoch Technology building." Shouwang is a very unique church, Fu said, as most members are well-educated, and include China's top religious scholars and former government officials, which may be a factor in the government's response.

Thank the Lord for the courageous and faithful believers in China who are willing to glorify His name in public. Pray for the release of the remaining church leaders. Ask the Lord to continue to grow His church in strength and unity.

Read more about the persecution of Chinese Christians at the China Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians in the country, making it possible for them to have their own printed version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, while presenting ways to effectively respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bibles, Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.3), Christianity (5.2), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Muslim (2) Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (51.8)

Leader
President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.

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