After President Xi Jinping was granted a tenure of life in power, he suddenly increased his efforts to suppress religion. Missionaries serving within the country are frequently perceived as foreign spies. Todd Nettleton from VOM USA reports that a number of foreign workers in China have found their visas rejected at the time of renewal.
Two leaders of an American organization that supplies workers to teach English in China were arrested in September, based on claims that they had illegally moved people across borders. These accusations are similar to those facing Pastor John Cao, an American missionary who was sentenced to seven years in prison for allegedly smuggling people across the China/Myanmar border. For more information on Pastor Cao, read this report. To write him an encouraging letter, visit his profile on PrisonerAlert.com.
In response to this growing opposition against foreigners, Bob Fu, director of ChinaAid, posted the following warning via Facebook on October 19th: "It's time for the foreigner Christians to consider urgent temporary exit from China. The danger is real." Referring to the campaign as a "boxer rebellion-type of serious consequences," he calls fellow believers to pray that each foreign Christian worker will be granted discernment as they determine the best course of action given their individual situations.
Please prayerfully uphold the many Christian residents who are facing uncertainties -- including foreigners presently serving in China -- as they seek God's direction for their lives and ministries. May He give them the discernment they need to navigate the best course of action during these times of difficulty. Despite the mounting oppression being encountered by the churches in China, may the Lord ensure their continued growth by providing His faithful followers overcoming strength and guidance through the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit.