At least ten leaders from house churches across Hunan province in central China have been detained in what appears to be an ongoing crackdown.
The ten were accused of organising ‘cults’ and ‘sects’ and ‘undermining law enforcement’. They have been criminally detained, which, according to China Aid, is the first step towards a formal charge which ‘almost inevitably’ leads to a conviction. Four other Christians have been taken to Shaoyang city for a month of ‘compulsory study’.
The arrests have been linked to an incident in which a Christian woman handing out Gospel tracts on the street gave one to a government employee from a local police station. A local Christian said ‘the entire police forced was mobilised’ to round up the Christians; money, Bibles and church equipment were confiscated from homes and churches.
Meanwhile, church demolitions and ‘modifications’ continue in coastal Zhejiang province. Officials removed the cross on Salvation Church in Wenzhou on 14 August, after weeks of confrontations between Christians and government demolition teams. And in Zhejiang’s provincial capital, Hangzhou, the large Gulou Church was forcibly demolished on 13 August.
Source: Release International, China Aid
- Please pray for the immediate release of all Christians detained by Hunan officials in the latest crackdown. Pray for an end to Zhejiang officials’ church demolitions and cross removals.
- Pray that Christians in both Hunan and Zhejiang provinces will know that God is their rock and their deliverer (Psalm 18:2).
- Pray the believers will not give up meeting together but be willing to spur one another on in serving the message of the Gospel.