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The entrance to what is
refered to as a "black jail."
Photo: ChinaAid

Authorities placed at least 20 Christians under residential surveillance in China's coastal Zhejiang province over the past two months. In China, "residential surveillance in a designated location," also referred to as a "black jail," is a more severe form of holding than "criminal detention." Individuals under residential surveillance are held in undisclosed locations, and they're not permitted to speak with family or legal representation.

Two Zhejiang cities in particular, Wenzhou and Jinhua, have had more than 20 people placed under surveillance between August 25th and October 24th, according to an anonymous Christian leader in Zhejiang. The source noted that the names of those detained in Jinhua have not been released and that the number was likely to be more than the 20 currently known. "This is entirely outside the law," another source in Wenzhou attests. "These are the actions of totalitarian regimes."

For many of those being held, the justification for the residential surveillance is on "suspicion of stealing, spying, buying and illegally providing state secrets and intelligence." Because this charge involves national security, authorities refuse to let lawyers speak with those under surveillance. For a previous report referencing the secretive detention of Christians in Wenzhou, click here.

Please join us in upholding the surprising number of Christians and church leaders presently under residential surveillance, praying that they will remain faithful to the Lord, regardless of the pressure or pain they experience. More specifically, ask that these believers will seize every opportunity that's available to witness to others during their custody. May they not in any way become discouraged or embittered but rather filled with renewed hope and optimism so that the government's increasing efforts to restrict them will serve to further strengthen their faith and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ...and greatly promote the Gospel!

Do not miss the opportunity to pray on behalf of the persecuted church with fellow believers around the world on Sunday, November 8th. For more information on this year's International Day of Prayer and how you can participate, please click here. Be sure to share this information with others of your church and prayer group.

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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