House Church Shut Down in China
Another house church has been shut down by local police in China, under the communist regime’s ‘anti-cults’ campaign.
The Huoshi church is the largest unregistered church in Guiyang, Guizhou province, which is located in the south central portion of the country. Interaction between police officials, local government and the Huoshi church has been active since 29th November, when the church was ordered to cease all activities or face daily fines of US$2,023.
According to Yang Hua, one of Huoshi Church’s pastors, on 30th November local government officials from three separate departments “tried to raid the church but were stopped by some church members. Later, they took some video footage of the pantry and library for evidence, and a verbal dispute happened between them and our church members.”
The most recent government action occurred last week, on 9th December, when police officers raided the church during a fasting and prayer session with nearly 200 members present.
The Chinese government has been more tolerant of house churches in recent years, but a new crackdown on Christianity in the country has placed many congregations under pressure.
An ‘anti-cult’ campaign was launched by Beijing in June of 2014, in an effort to root out supposed ‘evil cult’ groups which the Communist Party believes to be in opposition to the state.
Authorities have since used the campaign to limit the expansion of Christianity which is the fastest growing religion in China and, over the last week alone, two churches, including the Huoshi church, have been shut down, while at least six pastors have been arrested and detained.
- Pray for the pastors of Houshi Church, and others who have been arrested over this last week. Pray that they and their families will have peace and comfort and pray for their protection while they are detained.
- Pray for the leaders of house churches across China, as they cope with increased pressure from authorities. Pray for strength and courage to continue to meet and to witness to their faith.
- Pray for the Chinese Church as it grows at a rapid rate. Pray for good discipleship of new believers and for acceptance of Christianity by the Chinese government.
Acts 12 vs 5: “While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.”
Source: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com, http://www.persecution.org