Before the commencement of the nation’s Chinese New Year celebrations, which began on 31 January, Christians were targeted several times in what is believed to be a crackdown on church activity.
In Beijing, members of a church group were arrested on 24 January when they tried to visit Zhang Wenhe, a fellow member. The 19 Christians had initially gone to Zhang’s home for a Bible study, only to discover that he was being held under house arrest at another location. Upon learning of Zhang’s new location, and the fact that he was experiencing serious health concerns due to a heart problem, the believers tried to deliver food and medicine to him. Authorities then detained 15 of the believers, including Zhang, a 14-year-old male and another believer with heart trouble.
Meanwhile, churches in central Henan province and southern Guangdong province have also reported intense persecution. In Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, police have disrupted the gatherings of a house church twice a week since the start of January. In Neihuang County, Henan, many Christians are fearful to attend their church meetings because of the opposition they have endured from several local government departments.
Sources: China Aid, Release International
- As our brothers and sisters in China endure this latest crackdown, pray that they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; Hebrews 12:1-3).
- Pray that the detained Christians will be released very soon, and that their faith will only be strengthened by this trial.
- Commit China’s authorities to our Lord in prayer, asking that their eyes may be opened to the truth of the Gospel.