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CHINA: Officials Crackdown on Christianity

CHINA: Officials Crackdown on Christianity

More than 50 officials broke into Meisheng Church in Luohe, Henan, on Sunday, beating Christians and confiscating most of the church’s property.

Uniformed and plainclothes police, as well as agents from the local religious affairs and cultural bureaus invaded the service as the pastor, Chen Qi, was reading the Bible.

“They shouted as they came in, ‘Don’t take pictures. Put your phones in your pockets,’” one Christian said. “Then they grabbed the pastor’s microphone and forcibly stopped the worship.”

A man surnamed Li, the director of Luohe’s Yuanhui District Religious Affairs Bureau, walked to the podium and announced that the fellowship was “illegitimate.” After reading a document about the church’s supposed violation, he asked Chen to sign it, but Chen refused and was taken away. An official said to him, “The document will be effective no matter if you sign it or not.”

During the ordeal, a woman stood in the hallway and photographed the situation. Police pulled her hair and slapped her face as they pushed her up against the wall. They then they took her into custody.

Similarly, another woman was kicked by a handful of policemen for her attempt to take pictures. She fell to the ground, and her phone was confiscated. When her fiancé confronted one of the officers, saying “How can you bully a girl?” he was punched and accused of assaulting the police.

The authorities did not permit those gathered for the service to leave until they had seen their ID cards and collected other personal information. Then, they took desks, stools, the podium, computers, televisions, pianos, projectors, guitars, fans, water dispensers, water bottles, instant cookers, drums, and some trivial items, according to one of the church members. They also removed a cross and cut the electrical wires. Only two air conditioning units remained, since the officials had difficulty taking them down.

On the same day, authorities in Xinyang, Henan, entered a local church without showing any papers, drove out the Christians, and sealed the door using electric welding. Some of the congregants attempted to film evidence, but police took their phones. Later on, the church rented a storage unit to hold their services in.

In the same area, officials closed off the road leading to a church, not permitting its attendees to enter. The Christians decided to sing hymns on the street instead, with one minister saying, “If we lose our church, we will go out onto the streets; we will not retreat home. If we are also arrested for proclaiming the Gospel in the streets, it is the mission and responsibility of those Christians to proclaim the Gospel in every prison!”

Similar disturbances occurred in other areas of Henan, including Hua County, where Christians gathered in front of Baidaokou Church to prevent authorities from breaking in. After a short confrontation, the authorities forced their way into the church and took chairs, desks, and a variety of other items. As they resisted, some of the Christians were injured and fell to the ground.

After the authorities left, however, some of the congregants stayed and sang worship songs.

Source: ChinaAid

  • Praise God for the faithfulness of Christians in China. May they continue to make every effort to meet together and encourage one another in the Lord.
  • Pray their conduct may act as a witness to the authorities and others in their community.
  • Pray the Lord would give wisdom to pastors and church leaders, when dealing with the authorities.
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CHINA: Banned for ‘Brainwashing’ Children

CHINA: Banned for ‘Brainwashing’ Children

Officials in China’s central Henan province closed down a Christian-run institution dedicated to bringing children up with good morals, saying its religious component “brainwashed” its students.

Ms Zhu, a Christian woman, told a China Aid reporter on 14 September that national security officers arrived at her house in July and confiscated books they’d used for an academy that ran theology classes for children in their home after receiving a tip that the students were being brainwashed with religion.

Additionally, they removed other items belonging to the church, including a computer and banned and closed the academy. Since the ban, the officials have not harassed the church again.

Such prohibitions on teaching religion to children are common in China, despite the Chinese Constitution’s guarantee that all citizens enjoy freedom of belief.

Despite threats from the government, many Chinese adults insist on taking their children to church and other Christian-related activities. In response, the government strengthened its prohibition on children attending religious events in the revised edition of its Regulations on Religious Affairs, scheduled to take effect in February.

Source: China Aid

  • Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Ms Zhu and of parents who make every effort to bring up their children in the ways of the Lord. Pray they will be in no way discouraged by this incident.
  • Pray for children and youth in China; may they encourage one another in the faith.
  • Pray for those in authority, that they may be moved by the powerful witness of Chinese believers.
TANZANIA: Christians Possessions Taken

TANZANIA: Christians Possessions Taken

A pastor and several church members in a south-eastern Tanzanian village had all of their belongings and cash confiscated after they refused to contribute to a ceremony involving witchcraft.

Village leaders had called witch doctors to remove “curses” on their village, and everyone in the community was required to make a donation for the ceremony. Because the ceremony involved witchcraft, the Christians refused to contribute.

Angered by the Christians’ refusal, village leaders forced their way into the pastor’s house and took his possessions. They later did the same to other church members, even taking a large amount of cash from a young man who had saved the money to pay for his wedding.

When the Christians turned to police for help, the police called them “idiots and ignorant fools.” Village leaders then threatened the pastor and told him they intended to destroy the church and get rid of all Christians in the village.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray the Lord may use this injustice ultimately for the good of the pastor and his church members and also for His Glory in the salvation of many (Genesis 50:20).
  • Pray that these believers will not be intimidated but be strengthened by God. May they experience His bountiful provision.
  • Pray for the village leaders and all those who took part in the ceremony.