A local governing body in China’s central Guizhou province has stopped paying out welfare benefits to Christians who attend church activities, an action that mirrors a similar incident two years ago.
Mou, a house church member, told China Aid, “[Officials verbally] announced on July 2nd that Christians could not have welfare or any old-age insurance … Now, the county [government] called on the government in the towns and villages to order believers to sign [a guarantee], stating that if they gathered again, their welfare would be cut off.”
This kind of pressure is reminiscent of an ongoing persecution case in China’s inland Sichuan province, where, on September 28th, 2014, 36 Miao Christians, an ethnic minority in China, were detained and then individually released 5-11 days later. Since that time, the government has not paid out any of their welfare payments.
On July 14th this year, Zhang Shucai, a member of one of the affected Miao churches, said, “Not long ago, I went back to my hometown and asked my parents about [the welfare payment cancellation]. They told me that they still hadn’t received their welfare. [Authorities] only arrested my mother last time, but they cancelled the [welfare] of [both of my parents]. ”
When asked if the church members plan to take legal action, Zhang replied that many of the Miao Christians do not know how to defend their rights.
- Pray for Christians affected by this ruling, and for those Miao Christians who have been without welfare payments for almost 2 years. Pray for provision for those affected, for wisdom in how to challenge this decision, and for a relenting on the part of the government towards those in need, regardless of religious belief.
- Pray for the Church in China as it is facing increased pressure from the Government to conform to communist ideals and deny Christianity. Pray for a strong faith to endure, and for the Church to continue to grow in both numbers and maturity across China.
- Pray for access to teaching and discipleship materials for Chinese believers and pastors, as well as continued opportunities to meet together to encourage on another in their faith.
Psalm 10 vs 12: “Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.”
Source: http://www.chinaaid.org/, http://www.persecution.org