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An official seal closing a church. - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
An official seal closing a church.
Photo: ChinaAid

As the Chinese government institutes new religious guidelines, churches throughout the country are facing significant problems from authorities at the local, provincial and national levels. New policies are pressuring churches to align with government ideologies in an attempt to "unify national thought."

As a result, crosses are being torn down and authorities are ordering churches to sing patriotic songs and hang the national flag. Unregistered "house" churches are also being pressured to join along with the registered churches, where they would be under more control of the authorities.

Even registered churches have not been spared. Since the beginning of the year, more than 20 of them -- including those that are registered -- have been closed in the northern province of Qinghai. The associate secretary-general of the official Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) has written a letter of protest against the closures.

Churches refusing to join the official TSPM movement, however, are facing the most opposition. Officials have forced landlords to stop renting to churches. Pastors have been fined. Christians of a church in Henan province were forced to sign a letter committing to follow the Communist Party and not Christianity.

For members of the Zion Church in Beijing, officers promised church attendees good jobs and better schools for their children if they committed to leaving the church. Six branches of the Zion Church were recently closed by authorities with claims that these members have refused registration.

These are only a few of the many ways in which Christians within China have been threatened and harassed because of their faith in Christ. For more information on the opposition facing Chinese believers, go to our country report.

In the midst of this increasing storm of opposition, pray that the Christians of these harassed Chinese churches will hold firmly onto their faith, anchored to the Rock of Ages. May their church members have the right words to say when confronted by governing authorities (Luke 12:11-13). Ask that pressure will be placed on the Chinese government to respect the country's constitutional freedom of religion by allowing people to worship the God of all creation.

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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