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A Christian cemetery
A Christian cemetery in Hong Kong.
Wikimedia / Cupentradoo (CC BY-SA)

Christian funerals are being forbidden in some areas of China, as authorities begin enforcing new regulations to ensure the conducting of so-called "civilized" ceremonies. In the state of Zhejiang, funerals are only allowed to take place in government-approved church buildings. While clergy may be permitted to visit families of the deceased in homes, they are forbidden from conducting any religious ceremonies or services of prayer. If mourners do gather in a home, there can be no more than ten family members reading Scripture or quietly singing hymns.

Similar policies have been adopted elsewhere. In a village of Hunan province, officials threatened to arrest a man unless he conducted a secular funeral for his father. "My father had been a believer for several decades," the grown son explained. "He is persecuted even after death." For more information and reports, indicating an increase of religious restrictions in China, visit our country report.

Remember those who are not only mourning the loss of dear loved ones but now must also contend with these added burdens in the midst of their grief. May the Lord of all comfort minister to each and every one of these grieving believers in meaningful ways, giving them "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding," and divine strength in their time of weakness (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 12:9; Philippians 4:7). Pray that China's church leaders will have discernment as they determine the best ways to help those under their care.

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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