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Cross being removed from a Three-Self church in 2014
Chinese authorities have been targeting places of worship, including the Three-Self Churches.
Photo: ChinaAid

The Donghu Church in Xining received official approval from authorities in 2003, and has been operating as a government-approved Three-Self Church by meeting the legal requirements. With more than 300 members, it is the oldest and largest church in the district. Yet, despite its official status, the church has still faced opposition from authorities.

In December 2017, the fire department closed the church building, citing that there was a "hidden danger." While that closure was later suspended, the church purchased a new building early the following year. However, as the government did not approve of the new building, the church was forced to gather elsewhere. The congregants then began meeting in the Donghu Hotel. This move was also opposed and, in early December 2019, the fire department sealed the church door.

Despite this most recent closure, more than 200 of the remaining church members continued to meet by climbing through a window into the building. On Christmas Day, however, the power was cut off to the building in the middle of the service, leaving the people in the dark. The church has now received a formal notice of immediate closure, including a statement that the building will be demolished. This opposition demonstrates the ongoing efforts of the Chinese government to shut down the churches, even those having government approval. For more information, go to our China Country Report.

Remember these believers in your prayers as they face this season of difficulty and uncertainty. Pray that they will discover new opportunities to worship together and reach out in their communities with the Gospel message. May the authorities working to oppose the churches realize that they are fighting against the 'eternal God of the universe' and, as a result of this awareness, turn in humility and repentance to Him.

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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