“In the Chinese province I am from, the government closed two registered churches last weekend,” a friend of 316NOW told several of our leaders this morning. “One was closed for violation of local building ordinances. The other was closed because someone under 18 had attended the worship service there.”
He continued, “Some churches are hiring guards to stop officials from shuttering churches. But one of the churches that was closed was too poor to hire a guard.”
Our friend also reported, “The government is requiring that every registered church reports on its income every week.”
Almost a year ago, the national government announced that starting this month, it would begin to enforce its laws against underground churches, against teaching children Christian truths, and against Western groups attempting to influence the church in China. The government now appears to be targeting pockets of the country where it will initially tighten its control over Christianity. From those areas, it will move on to other areas, until – domino-like – all of China will lose access to its current level of religious freedom.
Some knowledgeable observers believe that Christianity has spread too deeply into Chinese society for the government’s reforms to work in the long run. Nonetheless, our friend said, “Christians across China are concerned.”
China needs your prayers
You can help. During our 15 Days of Prayer effort, add your prayers to the prayers of tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of fellow Christians. Then continue to pray that the Spirit overcomes through these barriers to the gospel, so that all 1.4 billion souls in China will learn about God’s grace. Tap here to receive