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Believers in China
Believers in China are persevering despite opposition.
Photo: ChinaAid

Two Nanle Church congregations in China's central Henan province had their services tampered with this past Christmas by government authorities. The Hongen Church, which is located in the city of Puyang, was forcibly locked by authorities in order to prevent Christians from organizing Christmas services.

The second Nanle Church plant, known as Canggu Church, couldn't initially be shut down because it was located on private property. However, following three Christmas services, which were attended by many Christians, government personnel dispatched several patrol cars and police officers to the scene. As the speaker began talking about Jesus and the Bible, officers from the local Religious Affairs Bureau proceeded to interrupt his message, accusing him of preaching without a permit.

Despite the speaker's response, "I'm not preaching! I am a host..." the opposing Religious Affairs agents persisted in their attempts to interrupt the gathering. When the agents approached the church's podium to make speeches, the church's congregants began raising their voices in song. Following the arrival of more community members for the latter service, officials decided to shut off the heating system with claims of safety issues.

The Christmas gathering continued in the cold until government officials forcibly ended the service and blocked all roads leading to the church location until 10 p.m. Since the incident, several elders of the Nanle Church have refused to join a local state-run church as recommended by the Religious Affairs Bureau.

China's officially authorized Three-Self Churches are censored by the government. Therefore, these monitored churches must adhere to the agenda of the Communist Party which seeks to prioritize its mandate over the religious beliefs of the country's citizens. As a result, many Christians are hesitant to attend such churches. Additional reports on the persecution of believers in China are available here.

Though local government officials have sought to interfere with the services of these two Nanle Church congregations, in an effort to halt their ministry, may the Lord prove Himself mighty on behalf of His faithful worshippers. His infallible Word states: "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it, for you...have kept My word, and have not denied My name" (Revelation 3:8). May these believers remain in a spirit of worship wherever they are, knowing that true worship cannot be confined to a building. Pray that they will also be further encouraged to testify of the mighty works God has already done in their midst -- and has yet to accomplish! In the meantime, may they be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit so that the officials involved will yearn for the Lord's salvation and powerful presence to be manifested in their lives as well.

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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