Select Page
CHINA: Low Income Families Ordered to Abandon their Faith or Lose Financial Aid

CHINA: Low Income Families Ordered to Abandon their Faith or Lose Financial Aid

In the Chinese government’s continuing persecution of Christians, poor families are now being told to renounce their faith or lose welfare benefits.

The Chinese economy has been deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic, especially low-income households struggling to make ends meet.  Now government officials are ordering Christians who receive welfare payments to replace crosses, religious symbols, and images inside their homes with portraits of China’s communist leaders. “All impoverished households in the town were told to display Mao Zedong images,” a local pastor said. “The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus.”

A church member in one of the villages recalled how authorities entered his home and destroyed a calendar with an image of Jesus on it, then replaced it with a portrait of Mao instead. “Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing, they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,” he explained.

Enforcing the new regulation started several months ago across China. In April, the government of Xinyu City in the south-eastern province of Jiangxi withheld a disabled Christian’s funds (about $20) because the believer continued to attend worship services. And in Jiangxi’s Poyang county, an elderly Christian woman was taken off the government’s aid list because she said “Thank God” after receiving her monthly cheque (about $40).

In May, a government official in the eastern province of Shandong barged into the home of a Christian and posted portraits of Mao and President Xi Jinping, then said, “These are the greatest gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones.”

Another elderly woman from Henan’s Shangqiu city lost her welfare benefits in April after officials found a cross displayed on her house door. “They tore it down immediately,” the Christian said. “Afterward, both my minimum living allowance and poverty alleviation subsidy were cancelled. I am being driven to a dead end. I have diabetes and need injections regularly.”

Earlier this year, the communist regime resumed removing crosses from churches throughout China, in addition, portraits of Mao and Xi have replaced images of the Holy Spirit.

Sources: CBN News, Bitter Winter, Australian Prayer Network

  • Pray to the Lord, our provider, on behalf of these brothers and sisters and ask Him to supply their needs.
  • Pray the people of China will be in no way deceived about their leaders – that they are entitled to be worshipped. Pray people will come to know and love the One true God.
  • Thank the Lord the church in China continues to grow. Pray the believers will be courageous as they face escalating opposition.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

CHINA: Pray for Ps Wang Yi and his Family

CHINA: Pray for Ps Wang Yi and his Family

Pastor Wang Yi is a Christian human-rights lawyer and a founding pastor of the Early Rain Covenant Church. He has been vocal in calling on the state to uphold religious freedom.

Pastor Wang has been in custody since December 2018, when officials seized around 100 members of his church, including Jiang, Pastor Wang’s wife. Most, including Jiang were subsequently released.

In December 2019, Pastor Wang was sentenced to nine years in prison for “inciting to subvert state power” and “illegal business operations”. The charges for business operations relate to the printing and distribution of Christian books by the church.

Currently Jiang, Pastor Wang’s wife, has no freedom of movement. Authorities have barred her from interacting with her family, friends and fellow church members. She is monitored every hour of every day by security agents.

Joshua, their son is forced to daily ride in a police car and go to a Chinese Communist Party public school for indoctrination.

The church property is now occupied by the Neighbourhood Committee office and is rented out to other businesses without permission from the church.

The treatment of Ps Wang’s family is believed to be the Chinese government’s revenge against Pastor Wang for not compromising his faith while in prison.

VOM Sources

  • Ask the Lord to strengthen the resolve of Pastor Wang Yi, Jiang and Joshua to love, serve and follow Him.
  • Ask God to use this time of trial to make the family and church members spiritually strong.
  • Praise God that His promises are always fulfilled, in spite of the designs of man. Pray the Lord will use Pastor Wang Li to bring a spiritual awakening to the prison.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Call to Expel All Christians

PAKISTAN: Call to Expel All Christians

A video from a Muslim cleric has gone viral in Pakistan, promoting hatred towards Christians and demanding that all of them be thrown out of the country. Referring to the followers of Jesus as “the worst infidels of the universe,” the cleric speaking in the video declares that “Christians have no right to live in this Islamic country.”

While the video is new, the message is not. The country’s constitution refers to religious freedom for all citizens, but the government offers little to no help to religious minorities. Messages such as those contained in the video encourage intolerance which can lead to violence.

Over the years, blasphemy laws have been frequently abused by the accusers. False allegations are often made against Christians for the complainant’s personal gain and may result in innocent believers unjustly languishing in prison for years or the tragic loss of their lives.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Mission Network News

  • Pray that Pakistan’s government officials and military leaders will defend the constitutional rights of Christians and other citizens belonging to minority groups.
  • May the antagonistic message contained in the cleric’s video fall on deaf ears. Pray that what was meant for evil may be used for good.
  • Pray for the protection of Christians who face false allegations and threats, asking God to give them the grace, wisdom and favour to live peaceably among the people of their communities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

SUDAN: Christians See the Light After Years of Oppression

SUDAN: Christians See the Light After Years of Oppression

Sudan, a place that’s seen genocide, war, and persecution for as long as some can remember is finally coming out of the dark. The nation’s new transitional government is making real reforms that allow the Sudanese people to live and worship more freely.

On a recent trip to Sudan, American observers witnessed something that hasn’t happened in decades, Sudanese Christians worshipping freely without fear of persecution. It’s a relief after years of suffering under Islamic Sharia Law.

“Christians in particular would see their places of worship destroyed, they would be arrested and there were charges of apostasy and blasphemy that were levelled because these are in the penal codes,” said Dwight Bashir, the director of outreach and policy at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Last year President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown and now faces charges of genocide before the International Criminal Court. The new transitional civilian government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, is transitioning Sudan out of the dark.

“The worst of the persecution no longer exists. There’s no more attacking of churches,” Bashir says. He recently travelled to Sudan with two USCIRF commissioners to meet with Hamdok and the delegation agrees it’s clear he’s intent on enacting real reforms.

The US State Department has downgraded Sudan from a major violator of religious liberty to a watch list, but for Hamdok, change isn’t coming easy. Just this month he survived an attempt on his life.

“For him to succeed he needs to be protected. His cabinet needs to be protected. He’s brought two Christians into his cabinet which would have been unthinkable just a couple of years ago,” Bashir explains.

Much work remains, like changes in zoning laws so Christians can build churches, along with other reforms that will allow the people of Sudan to worship more freely as their conscience dictates. However, for the first time in a long time there’s hope against many odds those changes are coming.

Source: CBN News

  • Praise God for this positive development – an answer to many prayers.
  • Pray for Prime Minister Hamdok and his cabinet. Pray they will act justly, with wisdom and foresight to bring increased stability. Pray for their protection.
  • Pray the church will flourish in this new season.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Christian Prayer Service Attacked by Mob

PAKISTAN: Christian Prayer Service Attacked by Mob

On 23 July, Internal Salvation Church, a church located in Bhiki village in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab, was attacked by a mob of Muslim men. According to local reports, these men barged into the church during a prayer service and beat several members of the congregation.

Javaid David, Chairman of the Hope for Light, an NGO based in Pakistan, reported the incident to International Christian Concern (ICC). “There were over a hundred of individuals praying in the church when Muhammad Azam, Muhammad Ijaz, Muhammad Amjad and Muhammad Zafar, along with other armed Muslim men, intruded into the church,” David reported. “They forcefully seized the prayer service and reportedly thrashed both men and women.”

David also reported that abusive language was used against the members of the church during the attack. He explained that the attackers demanded the Christians “stop this circus” and proceeded to speak ill of Christianity and of Jesus Christ.

Christians from Bhiki have reportedly submitted a complaint to the local police station to register a First Information Report against the assailants. However, the application was rejected by the police officers.

“There has been a sharp rise in the number of incidents violating the religious freedom rights of Christians in Pakistan,” David went onto explain. “Their churches are being attacked, properties are being grabbed, forced to stop their prayer services and other church activities, and are forced to convert to Islam. This is alarming for Christians in this country.”

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray for those were injured and who are fearful. Ask for the Lord’s comforting presence to bring healing.
  • Pray for protection for this congregation and others across Pakistan.
  • Pray for the perpetrators, pray also for the authorities that they will act justly when dealing with this and similar cases.

Post your prayer in the comments below.