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Pray for Pastor Zhang and the members of his Christian family.
Photo: ChinaAid


More than 20 believers from Nanle County Christian Church, a state-approved church in Henan province, were recently detained. The arrests began on the morning of November 16th, when the pastor, Zhang Shaojie, arrived at the church for a meeting with the Nanle County Public Security Bureau Chief and a deputy. However, sources believe the meeting was actually a ploy to detain the pastor. When Pastor Zhang arrived, approximately a dozen police officers, without showing formal documents, entered the church and bound him.

Church members and Zhang's family gathered in front of the police station to protest his detainment. The group was denied entry to the building and some were beaten. According to church members, Pastor Zhang's elderly parents were hospitalized for high blood pressure and his two sisters were apprehended.

In order to prevent their own detainment, Pastor Zhang's daughter, son-in-law, and their 10-month-old daughter were forced to flee Nanle County. Pastor Zhang's daughter also reported receiving more than 10 threatening phone calls, with the callers making threats to "wipe out her entire family" if she continued to seek international help and provide information about the persecution of the church.

Over the course of the night, local government authorities had church members come to a government building where they were lectured and threatened. By morning, every gate to the church was guarded and anyone who tried to enter for Sunday worship was detained. At last report, the whereabouts of the majority of those apprehended was not yet known.

As well as pastoring the church, Pastor Zhang serves as the president of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Christian Church in Nanle County. Church members believe these latest arrests are part of a plan to select a new president to replace Zhang. The members explain that the government's problem with Zhang stems from his frequent defense of marginalized social groups and individuals who have had their rights violated.

"This case against even the officially approved churches again shows the current Chinese regime has no intention to relent its increasing persecution on citizens for religious freedom," states Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid, a partner of VOMC.

While we do not know the whereabouts or condition of all those being detained, we can rest in the fact that our Father is fully aware of their exact location and their every need. Ask Him to meet these needs and to encourage His faithful followers with the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Pray that the detained believers will soon be released, and that the persecution they experienced in Nanle County will result in an increased boldness to share the Gospel (Acts 4:29-31).

For more information on our persecuted brothers and sisters in China, please visit our 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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