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Police in China

The Church of Abundance in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, issued a public prayer letter on October 17th, stating that two pastors and another believer have been in custody for 60 days. Since being detained, the Christians have not been heard from.

On August 17th, police detained Pastor Lian Changnian on charges of alleged fraud. He was then placed under "residential surveillance" along with Pastor Lian Xuliang and Sister Fu Juan. According to authorities, the pastors were detained in their own residences, but family members have no idea where they are currently being held. Fu Juan's location is also unknown, and her husband has not received an official notice of her arrest. According to church members, several female congregants have been summoned by the authorities since mid-August. Some of these believers were abused, threatened and beaten by police officers.

According to lawyers, "residential surveillance" is supposed to be a form of detention in which an individual is confined to their own residence. However, those accused can be held in other locations if there are national security risks or concerns of terrorist activities. Since no answers have been forthcoming, it is unknown what claims the authorities are making about the detained Christians.

Religious advocates have raised concerns about the recent election of Xi Jinping as president of China for a third term. Under his leadership, China has become increasingly oppressive towards those who disagree with the ruling party's Communist views. Many believe that President Xi is leading the country back to the repressive policies originally instituted by Mao Zedong, reversing any reforms and openness previously enacted. Speaking of the re-election, Bob Fu from ChinaAid warned: "The international community will have to prepare for the continuing acceleration of the worsening record on human rights abuses and religious persecution under Xi's new Cultural Revolution." For more information on the persecution facing Christians in China, go to our country report.

Pray that these detained Christians will soon be released unharmed and reunited with their loved ones. In the meantime, as concerned family members await news of the believers' whereabouts, may each one of them be filled with the Lord's reassuring peace and comfort. Additionally, please prayerfully remember the many other Christians throughout China who are experiencing various forms of relentless oppression by repressive governmental forces.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians within China, making it possible for them to have their own print version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, presenting Chinese believers with effective ways in which they can respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bible (Distribution), 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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