Believers in China rejoice despite hardship

September 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Asia, Asia, China, China, Church, newsletter-world, Persecution

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Believers in China rejoice despite hardship
Shouwang Church members joyfully worship God outdoors.

China, September 27, 2012: Believers at Beijing’s Shouwang Church in China are full of joy and praise despite 17 months of difficult outdoor worship. The believers have been meeting outdoors since the government began thwarting their efforts to rent premises to worship indoors (click here to learn more).

While recently conducting their 38th outdoor worship service of the year, 22 believers were arrested. Ten were released soon after, while the rest were detained at a local police station. The remaining believers were released in the afternoon.

VOM partner China Aid has been working with house churches and teams of Christian lawyers to explore strategies for using the legal system in China to defend the rights of churches and Christians. Shouwang Church has submitted an application for an official administrative review in response to harassment and ongoing detentions by authorities attempting to inhibit their outdoor worship services.

Please join with the believers of Shouwang Church who are praying: “Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalms 33:22). Please pray that the administrative review will shine a light on the persecution believers face and help usher in more freedoms in China. Pray that God will use the faithfulness of the believers at Shouwang Church to bring others to Him.

– canada free press

Tour of Chinese Bibles exhibit slammed as Government propaganda

October 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, China, newsletter-world, Persecution, USA, World

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Chinese Bible

Chinese Bible

United States, October 18, 2011 An exhibition tour of Chinese Bibles in the United States has been denounced as a “political propaganda show” to cover up the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians in the country. 

China Aid Association, a US-based Christian human rights group, said that the intent of the “Thy Word is Truth” exhibition was to “mislead members of the public, politicians, and church leaders overseas who are unaware of the realities in China”.

It has been organised by the “Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China”, which is part of China’s official Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

China Aid contrasted the picture presented by an exhibit showing Bibles being printed and distributed throughout China with cases of “house church” Christians being arrested and sentenced to prison terms for doing precisely the same thing, as well as other examples of anti-Christian persecution.

Beijing house church leader Shi Weihan was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for printing and transporting a large quantity of Bibles and Christian materials.

Chinese pastor Hong Yujian said that the exhibition was “a total show for deceptive purposes”. He said:

I think it is a kind of grand deception for political propaganda purposes. Because inChina, except for government-operated Christian bookstores … no other bookstores … are allowed to sell the Bible.

China Aid also highlighted the “Chinese government’s persecution of house churches and any government-approved church that dares to adhere to the principles of the Christian faith and refuses to submit to the government’s political control and go against those principles.”

It cited the ongoing persecution of Shouwang Church, a Beijing house church that has been forced to worship outdoors after the authorities repeatedly thwarted its efforts to buy or rent premises in which to meet. Hundreds of Shouwang members have been detained by the police since the outdoor services began in April.

Official churches that do not toe the government line are also targeted. The Changchunli Three-Self Church in the city of Jinan, Shandong province, endured repeated government persecution from June 2009 to September 2010. Its pastors were removed, church members beaten and church building demolished.

China Aid expressed regret that some American churches, Christian organisations and leaders who are supporting the exhibition tour “had been misled and hoodwinked by this use of religion to engage in political and diplomatic trickery”.

“Thy Word is Truth” was in Washington D.C. from 28 September to 2 October before moving to Chicago from 12 to 16 October. Its next stop is Dallas from 30 October to 3 November and it will finish in North Carolina, hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, between 8 and 19 November.

– barnabas team

Join the International Protest to Save North Korean Refugees

August 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, China, newsletter-asia, North Korea, Persecution

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Mini-Protestors_stand_outside_the_Chinese_embassy_on_26_April_08

Mini-Protestors_stand_outside_the_Chinese_embassy_on_26_April_08

Will you raise your voice for North Koreans?

In recent months, ICC has been working to raise more awareness about the atrocities that occur in North Korea and what we can do to help people escape a regime known to be one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world. 

It is alarming to know that the North Korean regime is actively arresting and sometimes even executing its citizens for attempting to flee the nation. Even more alarming is that those who successfully cross into China (often the only viable option) must go into immediate hiding, as the Chinese government has been increasingly hunting down refugees and forcibly repatriating them back to North Korea, where inhumane treatment and even death awaits those deemed as traitors.

In order to bring global awareness to China’s cruel policy that violates its international treaty commitments, ICC is partnering with the North Korea Freedom Coalition for an International Protest to Save the North Korean Refugees on Thursday, September 22, which coincides with the USA’s 3rd annual Save North Korean Refugees Day. This protest will call Chinese embassies and consulates throughout the world to stop the repatriation of North Korean refugees.

CHINESE HOUSE CHURCHES PETITION PARLIAMENT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

May 19, 2011 by  
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Great-Hall-of-the-People is the seat of the Chinese Parliament

Great-Hall-of-the-People is the seat of the Chinese Parliament

Pastors from unregistered churches (“house churches”) in 

China have lodged an unprecedented petition with the Chinese parliament calling for religious freedom and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict involving one of Beijing’s largest house churches.

The bold move – the first of its kind in 60 years of repressive Communist rule in China – follows the detention and house arrest of hundreds of members of Shouwang Church, which has attempted to stage outdoor worship services over five consecutive Sundays.

The petition to the National People’s Congress asks for a special commission to be set up to investigate events surrounding Shouwang church’s clash with the authorities, and a review of the constitutionality of China‘s current rules governing religious affairs.

It says:

We believe that the Shouwang Church incident is not an individual, isolated episode that happens to a single church, but rather a typical phenomenon in respect of the conflict between state and church during the period of social transition. Such conflict has arisen due to the fact that the outdated system for religion management has not been adapted to the development of the church.

The move is being backed by Chinese church pastors in the United States and Canada who have launched a worldwide “Help Shouwang” signature campaign; they hope that drawing international attention to the persecution of the church will stay the Chinese government’s hand in meting out even harsher punishments against it.

Shouwang Church has been undeterred in its efforts to worship in public despite many of its 1,000 members being detained by the police, placed under house arrest and losing their homes and jobs. Attempts to hold an open-air service began on 10 April and have continued every Sunday since. The church is protesting against being repeatedly blocked by the authorities from renting or buying places to hold services.

In an announcement following the fifth outdoor service on 8 May, the church said:

We are thankful to God that he stirs brothers and sisters’ hearts, so that they, despite the risk of being arrested, fired, forced to move out of their rented places are determined to join the outdoor worship service at any cost.

It has been becoming more difficult for members of Shouwang to turn out for the weekly services because the authorities have kept them detained in their homes. All of the church’s leadership have been under informal house arrest since 9 April.

At least 169 Christians were rounded up by up to 1,000 police officers during the first meeting; 47 were detained the following week, and on Easter Sunday at least 34 were arrested while a further 500 were confined to their homes. At least 31 members were detained on 1 May and, last Sunday (8 May), 15 Christians were taken away by police, including one from another house church who turned up in a show of solidarity.