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The Shouwang Church has faced
much persecution in the past year.
Photo: ChinaAid

China's government is engaged in a three-phase campaign to eradicate Protestant house churches. The government's strategy was clearly outlined in a document released last September during a training class for "Patriots in the Christian Community" run by the State Administration for Religious Affairs.

From January through June of this year, the document called for local authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of house churches nationwide and create reports on each of them. In phase two, for the following two to three years, authorities would strongly encourage unregistered churches to affiliate with the government-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). In phase three, to be completed within 10 years, churches refusing to comply would be shut down. Officials would also ban the words "house church" and all reports on house churches from websites and other media and replace the term with "house gatherings" -- a term that would refer to group meeting in sites affiliated with the TSPM. In a recent random survey conducted by China Aid's source in several provinces, it was discovered that over 95% of house church leaders said they had already felt the impact of these investigations, while 85% said local religious affairs departments had already created a dossier for their group. "Since the beginning of 2012, we have noticed an increase in the frequency of persecution," China Aid said in its report. "In addition to the continuing persecution of Shouwang Church in Beijing, the number of similar cases has risen 20% over last year and has spread into other areas, including Christian education, publication and bookstores." (For more information on the Shouwang Church, click here).

Pray that Chinese churches will not be daunted by threats and pressures from the government, but will remain faithful to Jesus (Hebrews 10:23). Pray that believers throughout China will be bold in sharing the gospel despite the difficulties they face. Pray that Christians in China will encourage one another in the face of persecution. Pray that God will prevent the local authorities from attempting to stop house churches meeting.

Go to the China Country Report for more on the suffering Church in China.

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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