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Chinese Christians in Re-education Camps

Chinese Christians in Re-education Camps

Much has been reported about internment camps for Uyghur Muslims in Northeast China. However, Christians, Buddhists, Kazakh people, and other perceived threats to the communist government are also imprisoned in the camps.

A Han Chinese Christian couple who left their home to plant churches among Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were imprisoned for two years for their Christian work.

The couple, who led an unregistered house church, were arrested and pressured to sign statements rejecting their Christian faith.

When they refused, they were imprisoned in a re-education camp. The couple spent most of each day sitting rigidly on stools in a large room as government propaganda droned from loudspeakers. They were finally released and warned to keep quiet about their experience in the re-education camp. Although they remain under heavy surveillance, they are still committed to serving the Lord in China.

This is a common practice throughout China: Christians being subjected to communist indoctrination. This can occur not only in the re-education camps but also in prison, in government schools and in society at large. One goal of Chinese prisons is to reform a prisoner into a ‘new man’ who fully subscribes to communist ideology.

Based on more than 800 documented arrests of Christians in 2017 and 2018, it is fair to estimate that several thousand Christians are currently imprisoned in China where they are subjected to daily indoctrination in communist values.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.

From our CEO: June 2020

From our CEO: June 2020

Dear Friends,

“We don’t tremble before communism. They should be in panic because of us.”

These are the profound words from our founder Richard Wurmbrand, which ring true when we understand the amount of disdain the Chinese Communist Party has for Christians. Their determination to wipe out Christianity for their failing ideology is staggering.

Even while the world is grappling with a pandemic which started in China, the relentless pursuit of Christians continues. The pursuit of control both in China and North Korea is evident in the number of population controls which are in place, including mass surveillance systems to track movement and activity, monitor purchases and contacts, and manage social credits.

Some of these may sound familiar, even here in Australia. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that communism is not present here. Some members of our major political parties subscribe to this ideology and many communist values are already ingrained in our education systems. The influence of Chinese communist thinking has already penetrated our society.

Communism is alive and well and wrestling control over unsuspecting communities around the globe. We cannot allow ourselves to be complacent.

How do Christians deal with this oppressive ideology of communism in countries like China and North Korea?

In this newsletter edition we share stories of triumph over adversity. I am always encouraged by how, during hardship, persecuted Christians spend more time reading and relying on God’s Word, than on their current circumstances, however severe or dire. They draw daily strength from the Scriptures. They meet in their homes regularly and have their praise and worship times together as a family. They encourage each other and draw strength from those of us who are praying for them. Persecuted believers understand the power of prayer and actively participate.

Whilst speaking to one of our main contacts in China recently, I asked how they were dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the relentless pursuit of the Chinese Communist Party to eradicate all Christian activity. He replied, “We need your prayers so through these troubled times we can reach more for Christ, but we are also praying for you in the West so you can prepare for what is to come.”

Blessings,
Tony Benjamin
CEO

CHINA: Worshippers Dragged from House Church

CHINA: Worshippers Dragged from House Church

The Xingguang Church in Xiamen city meets in a residence because they refuse to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. On 3 May, security officers burst into the home while the church was gathered for worship. The Christian men who had been guarding the door were pinned down and worshippers were forcefully dragged out of the home.

Calling the meeting illegal, the officers demanded that church members stop recording with their mobile phones and then confiscated them.

Throughout the proceedings, no warrant was presented. At least three of the Christians were injured and one had to seek medical treatment. Six of the worshippers were detained for several hours before being released that evening. The authorities have issued an order officially banning the church gathering.

Sources: China Aid, Christian Post, International Christian Concern 

  • Pray that the members of the Xingguang Church will find ways to continue encouraging one another and thus grow stronger in their Christian faith.
  • Pray that the members who were hurt will experience the Lord’s healing.
  • Pray that the church in China would continue to grow despite the opposition to the Gospel.
CHINA: Sichuan Church Members Detained During Easter Service

CHINA: Sichuan Church Members Detained During Easter Service

During an online worship session in China to celebrate Easter Sunday, several key members of the heavily persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) were taken from their homes.

The Sichuan house church has not been able to gather in person since the government clamped down on the church on 9 December 2018 and arrested their pastor and other leaders. This Easter, the church was conducting an online worship session, when suddenly six leaders were taken by the Public Security Bureau from their homes.

A member of ERCC said, “At that time I was also in the Zoom call, there was a long period of time where I did not hear a thing. I thought it was the network connection issue at first, but I soon heard a quarrel erupt. Our co-worker Wang Jun was questioning some people, [saying], ‘Who are you to do this [to us]?’”

She added that, in addition to Wang, other leaders such as Guo Haigang, Wu Wuqing, Jia Xuewei, Zhang Jianqing and Zhang Xudong were also taken away. One member’s home had its electricity cut off, while others received phone calls that “police [were] coming to visit them soon.”

The six briefly detained Christians have since been released, and their electricity was recovered in the afternoon.

It is not uncommon for the local authorities to take additional measures against ERCC during major Christian celebrations or anniversary events. However, the latest detention also took place after church member Chen Yan decided to file a lawsuit against the authorities for unlawful harassment and surveillance against her and her husband Xiao Luobiao for more than a year. Last week, she detailed her experience with the security officials and her intention to sue in a series of blog posts published online.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray for all the leaders and members of Early Rain Covenant Church. Give thanks for their faithfulness and resolve to continue to love and serve the Lord and each other.
  • Pray for wisdom and protection of church leaders across China and others who have the attention of the Chinese authorities.
  • Pray that this past and current unrest in China, will be used by God for the spiritual benefit of many in China and around the world.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

China: Bible School

China: Bible School

In 2019, Voice of the Martyrs Australia supported six Mongolian students by covering the fees and costs of their Bible school in China.

Each of the students completed their studies at the end of last year and returned home to minister. Since their return, they have seen over 500 people accept Christ through Gospel meetings and they are each serving in their local church.

The students all came from poor areas in Inner Mongolia and the north-east. There is a great need for church workers in this area due to the poverty and rise in persecution from local police.

Each of the students, all in their early 20’s, will continue to minister in their hometowns in the year ahead.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.