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Shouwang Church members worshipping outdoors regardless of the weather condition
Photo: ChinaAid

Local police broke up the worship service of a house church and arrested its pastor in China's Xinjiang region for the second time. On August 4th, at least 20 police officers shut down the worship service and arrested Pastor Tan Wen. As with the previous service disruption and arrest, which took place on June 9th, the officers did not properly identify themselves or follow correct procedures.

The worship services of two other house churches in the Xinjiang region were disrupted (June 23rd and July 21st), also resulting in detentions and fines. In all four raids within this region, police not only failed to show identification, they imposed penalties that had no basis in law as such matters are regulated by the Bureau of Religion.

On the eastern side of the country in Hebei Province surrounding Beijing, a priest of an unregistered Catholic church fellowship was arrested on August 7th. Law enforcement officials arrested Rev. Song Wanjun at 4 a.m. as he was driving.

During the most recent arrest, involving 38 believers of the Shouwang Church in Beijing on August 11th, it was reported that one of them was terribly mistreated. "...one sister was manhandled by a deputy director (at the police station) who seized her by the throat and pulled her hair," the source explained. "Our sister calmly faced such rough treatment, and forgave this man by God's grace." For other details of this report, click here.

Meanwhile, two pastors of the Shouwang Church are still under house arrest since the fellowship was forced to worship outdoors more than two years ago. "At the doors of at least two pastors' homes, there are still a couple of plain-clothes police officers on duty 24 hours a day," stated an inside source, who requested anonymity.

The Shouwang Church has been meeting outside since April 10th, 2011, after authorities pressured a landlord to terminate the lease on their building. Officials had also blocked the fellowship from the premises the church had bought in 2009. Members of the church (attended by about 1,000 people) have been routinely arrested at the outdoor services.

While the pressure of opposition mounts for fellow believers in China, we are reminded that God's grace and strength are also available in increased measure (2 Corinthians 12:9). Pray that every setback they experience will become opportunities for the Good News of the Gospel to be spread in a far greater way, reaching multitudes more for Christ. May God's Spirit move so powerfully among these Christians that even their persecutors will recognize the fact that He does indeed exist and, as a result of this revelation, be receptive to His tremendous love for them.

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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