It’s Thursday evening in Fujian Province, southeast China. Scores of men and women are dancing, waving flags, blowing shofars, singing and worshipping God.
This is happening in communist and, officially, still atheist China. And what Pastor Duan Huilai says is remarkable about this scene is that it’s happening in an officially government-controlled congregation, known as Three-Self Church.
“Dramatic changes are happening,” Duan told CBN News. “God is moving in a powerful way inside these Three-Self Churches.”
Duan and his wife have witnessed this move first-hand. Both are evangelists and have, for several years, travelled around the China documenting the Holy Spirit’s move among Three-Self Churches.
“The most amazing thing is that the Lord is raising up God-loving people in these churches – so many brothers and sisters who love God deeply and want to serve Him,” Duan said.
Pastor Duan says what is happening today in Beijing and in other parts of China amongst the Three-Self Churches is quite remarkable, especially considering where the church has been in the last 30 years.
“Every sermon that the pastor preached back then had to be vetted by the government authorities. Young people were never allowed to attend these churches so you’d only see old people, mostly women,” Duan said. “Preaching about the power of the Holy Spirit was forbidden. You couldn’t talk about end times or preach repentance.”
“Nowadays people have accepted these topics,” Duan said.
Two main types of churches exist in China: registered and unregistered. Registered congregations, also known as Three-Self Churches, are government-approved.
Unregistered churches, sometimes called underground or house churches, operate outside government control, and face often intense persecution. But with that persecution came tremendous growth.
Three-Self Churches, on the other hand, never experienced that kind of explosive growth, until now.
Dr. Zhao Xiao, one of China’s foremost experts on Christianity is a former Communist Party member and atheist, who converted to Christianity after reading the Bible.
Dr. Zhao Xiao told CBN News: “Now there’s big revivals happening in the Three-Self Churches. The number of Christians in China is growing rapidly. It means Christ is starting to play an active role in China’s society and that’s good in many ways.”
“If you go to Haidian Church, you’ll find yourself in a more than 100-meter line trying to get inside and worship. In Shenzhen, there are usually an average of 500 people being baptised each Sunday!”
- Give thanks for the revival happening across the Three-Self Church in China.
- Give thanks for a new sense of freedom in these churches, as they are able to choose what they preach and also reach out to young people in China – something that has been forbidden in the past.
- Pray for the new believers, for good discipleship resources and for them to grow in faith and maturity, and the courage to share their new found faith with family and friends.
- Pray for protection on the Church and Christians in China. especially as it grows, that the government will allow freedom of belief and worship without fear.
Acts 16 vs 5: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.”