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

When Zion Church, one of Beijing's largest underground churches, refused to install surveillance cameras which could allow authorities to monitor them, they didn't know it would end with officials storming the church building to forcefully shut it down.

After the worship service on September 9th, government officials entered the hall where the church members met with orders to close the church and confiscate their "illegal promotional material." In August, authorities had closed seven branches of the Zion Church around the city (see this report). With this latest order, all activities of the church have been officially banned. The church's pastor, Jin Mingri, states, "I fear that there is no way for us to resolve this issue with the authorities."

Those attending the service were given pamphlets with a list of officially sanctioned churches they are permitted to attend instead. However, many believers perceive the acceptance of the Communist Party's oversight and authority as a betrayal of their faith. "On this land, the only One we can trust in is God," Pastor Jin adds. The church has resolved to continue meeting outdoors.

Pray that the leaders of the Zion Church will have the wisdom and strength of both heart and mind as they continue to lead their members through the ordeal. Also pray for the continued outreach of the Gospel throughout Beijing.

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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