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The Chinese Government's Blacklist, Our Prayer List - Photo: VOM Korea
Photo: VOM Korea

For months, an ongoing campaign against house churches has resulted in closures throughout the country. As Eric Foley from VOM Korea says, "When China shut down more and more smaller underground churches earlier this year, they watched the world's reaction carefully and found that Christians around the world would do little. This has given them boldness to shut down the largest underground churches."

In September, the Zion Church, one of Beijing's largest underground churches, was forcefully shut down (see our previous report). Earlier in December, the Early Rain Covenant Church faced coordinated attacks against their members. At last report, well over 100 members of the church have been detained, though many have since been released. Thirteen of the leaders have been formally detained with charges pending (read more information).

The latest campaign has been against the Rongguili Church in Guangzhou. More than 60 police officers and government officials interrupted a children's Bible class on the morning of December 15th. The officers stayed throughout the day, confiscating church property, including more than 4,000 books. All access to the building has been sealed off by police. The church, which attracts thousands of worshippers each week, was founded by Samuel Lamb Xiangao, one of the leading figures in China's independent house church movement.

While recent attention has been drawn to the large churches, many others throughout the country face a similar fate. As stated by Piao Junying in Bitter Winter, "Each house church suppression displays a common, disturbing pattern. However, each story is unique, and deserves to be told." Christians continue to meet, despite the danger. One church in Daqing is meeting at a remote pig farm for security reasons. Others are worshipping outdoors, even during the cold winter season. Despite the opposition and added challenges, the Lord is continuing to build His church in China (Matthew 16:18).

Remember these bold believers who are continuing to stand up in the face of opposition. Pray for their ongoing strength and willingness to put Christ first in their lives. Also uphold those who are meeting in the country's official Three-Self Patriotic Movement (state church) and, as mandated, must frequently comply by giving their primary allegiance to the Communist government. May the world's leaders arise, standing up against this clear violation of freedom against the Chinese people.

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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