According to recent reports by China Aid, China’s crackdown on house churches that are not registered with the official state church is growing and now represents the “greatest challenge” faced by Christians in the region.
Some unregistered churches are resisting the pressure to comply with government regulations, in spite of the risks of retribution.
China Aid, which works to support persecuted Christians in China, is reporting that one house church in central Henan province has rejected a government order to cease its religious activities and remove its signs, and worshippers intend to continue to defy the authorities.
Fang Guojian, a church attendee, told China Aid: “We are still gathering. We wrote a petition. After they saw it, they were afraid. In the letter, we wrote that we would go to Beijing; go to Beijing and appeal. Now, they are afraid, and they do not dare to provoke us.”
Once churches are registered with the official church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, they become subject to strict government supervision. All services and other activities then have to be approved by the state.
According to Open Doors, “While the campaign of breaking down crosses in the province Zhejiang seems to have come to an end, church meetings continue to be disrupted and stopped. Authorities see the meetings as threats, [especially] when foreigners, media or large groups of people are involved … The government’s goal of maintaining power and social harmony includes the control of all religions, including the quickly growing Christian minority.”
- Pray the Church in China as it faces growing pressure and control from the Government. Pray for wisdom for Church leaders to know how to respond to this pressure.
- Pray for the Church in Henan province as it takes a stand against the government. Pray for protection for the Christians who worship there, and for the government to allow them to continue to meet together without intimidation.
- Pray for the Chinese government at this time of increased crack down on religious activity. Pray for an opening of government officials’ Spiritual eyes to see the Truth of the Gospel and Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the Church in China as it continues to grow at a very fast rate. Pray for good discipleship resources, training materials and access to Bible training for Church leaders.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to draw many to Christ across this vast nation.
John 16 vs 33: “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’”