Thursday, October 25, 2018

China: The Worst Persecution In 40 Years - And Increasing

The Crisis in China (Part One) – The Worst Persecution in 40 Years

What's the Latest News from China?

In recent months the government has markedly increased the pressure on Christians throughout the country. We received an unconfirmed report from a long-term China missionary stating that 314 house church Christians have been killed in recent months, and hundreds more are missing. Most house church leaders have gone into hiding and have disconnected their phones and other devices because of the incredible surveillance capabilities of the state.
Thousands of house churches (which are considered illegal in China) have been closed. Reflecting the actions of Mao's Red Guards in the 1960s, religious symbols such as crosses and Scripture posters have been torn down and replaced by flags of China or portraits of President Xi Jinping.
Note: Our website version of this newsletter includes several important links to articles and videos to help people understand what's going on in China and how best to pray. Please visit for more detailed information.

The Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi Province being dynamited by the Chinese authorities earlier this year.

Some congregations have been ordered to sing the national anthem or other patriotic songs at the start of their services. Others have been ordered to install government facial-recognition surveillance cameras inside their worship halls, and those that have refused to comply have been forced to shut down.
Landlords who rent buildings to Christians are being heavily fined by the government, with new laws allowing fines of between 20,000 to 200,000 Yuan (almost US$30,000). This has created a climate of fear and suspicion, and thousands of fellowships have been forced out of the premises they were renting. 
On the streets, the police have the power to stop and search anyone they wish and to check their phones and other devices for content they deem a threat to society. These threats may include the presence of a Bible app or visits to Christian websites, or any communication considered unpatriotic.

The most severe persecution is occurring in the vast Xinjiang region in northwest China. In recent years a promising church movement had emerged among the Uyghur, Kazakh and Kirghiz people groups, but most of the church leaders have been arrested and taken to concentration camps in the desert. 

Reputable news organizations estimate at least one million people are being detained and tortured in those camps right now. Many suburbs in cities like Urumqi, Hami and Kashgar are now depopulated and countless buildings have been boarded up. Although this initiative was designed to target Muslims in border areas, almost all Uygur and Kazakh church leaders have also been taken away. The government doesn't care whether someone is a Muslim or Christian. It's all the same to them.

The Chinese government is fully aware of the explosive growth of the Church in China, and they are determined to stop it. They don't want China taking over from South Korea as the number one Evangelical country in Asia.

If you have read our Asia Harvest newsletters for some time you will know we don't usually mention politics at all, as our call is to equip the Church in Asia and not to be entangled by civilian affairs (2 Timothy 2:4). Our goal is not to favor one political system over another, but to see all people groups of Asia hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If one quote sums up what we think about politics, it would be this famous one from an economist in the last century: "Under Communism man oppresses man. Under capitalism it's the other way around."

The Communist leaders trying so desperately to implement their global vision are God-hating atheists, and they are determined not to let anyone or anything stand in their way. They want absolute power over what people do, say and think, and Christians, Muslims, or anyone else who may pose a threat to their goals are being subdued, controlled, or eradicated. These are the reasons behind the current campaign to wipe out the Church in China. Mao tried to do this from the 1950s to 1970s, and Xi Jinping seems determined to finish the job that Mao failed to do.

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