Authorities in Shandong province have issued an order banning online preaching. In a notice sent to the official churches of the province, the order stated that "all livestreamed preaching should be stopped immediately." With the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the prevalence of Internet-based services has increased significantly. Non-registered churches have also begun using online services after being shut down by authorities.
Along with the restriction on online preaching, the memo also called on the churches to assist in the rooting out of any non-approved churches in their communities. They were told to help "positively guide" those Christians in ways their spiritual needs can be met, as long as they don't gather together. No specifics were given in terms of what that exactly means. For more details on the persecution of Christians in China, see our country report.
Ask the Lord to grant His divine wisdom to the leaders of the registered churches, as they seek to maintain the ministry they have while working under a restrictive governmental system. Please uphold the multitudes of Christians throughout China who are longing to fellowship together and have a yearning to learn more about His Word despite the authorities' efforts to discourage and defeat them. May the words of Jesus be fulfilled in their situation: "I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).