Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wednesday's Voice - China

Chinese government plans to eradicate house churches
(Sources: China Aid Association, Compass Direct News)
China's government is engaged in a three-phase campaign to eradicate Protestant house churches. The government's strategy was clearly outlined in a document released last September during a training class for "Patriots in the Christian Community" run by the State Administration for Religious Affairs.
From January through June of this year, the document called for local authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of house churches nationwide and create reports on each of them. In phase two, for the following two to three years, authorities would strongly encourage unregistered churches to affiliate with the government-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). In phase three, to be completed within 10 years, churches refusing to comply would be shut down. Officials would also ban the words "house church" and all reports on house churches from websites and other media and replace the term with "house gatherings" -- a term that would refer to group meeting in sites affiliated with the TSPM. In a recent random survey conducted by China Aid's source in several provinces, it was discovered that over 95% of house church leaders said they had already felt the impact of these investigations, while 85% said local religious affairs departments had already created a dossier for their group. "Since the beginning of 2012, we have noticed an increase in the frequency of persecution," China Aid said in its report. "In addition to the continuing persecution of Shouwang Church in Beijing, the number of similar cases has risen 20% over last year and has spread into other areas, including Christian education, publication and bookstores.
Pray that Chinese churches will not be daunted by threats and pressures from the government, but will remain faithful to Jesus (Hebrews 10:23).
Pray that believers throughout China will be bold in sharing the gospel despite the difficulties they face.
Pray that Christians in China will encourage one another in the face of persecution and that God will prevent the local authorities from attempting to stop house churches meeting.
  
The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.
He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion.
He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray (Samuel Chadwick)

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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