Is there a silver lining to China’s new law that further regulates foreign non profit groups working in China?
Blogger Brent Fulton (ChinaSource.org) posed that question recently. 316NOW trusts that even if another “Bamboo Curtain” seeks to prohibit foreign Christian groups from sharing the gospel in China, the Spirit will find an explosion of other way to bring the message of God’s grace to souls there.
NGO law appears problematic
Morgan Lee in a recent Christianity Today article refers specifically to China’s new law when she writes, “Nearly 20 percent of the world’s population could lose access to the ministry efforts of Western Christians next year.”
Fulton says that depending on how the law is actually applied, it has the potential to severely disrupt the “business as usual” that many foreign faith-based organizations have become accustomed to in China.
Overtly religious activities by foreign Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are specifically forbidden in the new law and by past laws. Should foreign NGOs violate the new law, China’s public security organs have broad powers to intervene, including seizing financial assets. More importantly, local Christians who knowingly receive foreign funding for illegal activities are subject to prosecution.
God still reigns in power and love
But here’s the potential silver lining. 316NOW and other Christian groups have been helping Chinese Christian church leaders to become more self sufficient in Scripture training, the provision of materials, and the support of their workers. Should the doors close on 316NOW’s current approach to sharing the gospel in China, we have in place a network of capable Christians trained through our Bible institute who would continue to share what they have learned from us. And, of course, 316NOW would prayerfully seek other ways to continue helping those leaders.
God’s loving will to bring people into his kingdom cannot be thwarted. So let the Chinese government fully implement this new law in January 2017. The Spirit will use the ministry that 316NOW and other Christian groups have been doing in China so the church there shares the gospel more broadly than ever.
Sources: Read Brent Fulton’s blog post at ChinaSource.org