Peace and preparation – the kingdom of God is near
In this article, Wang Ziyu shares from personal experience about one summer that taught Wang the value of preparedness. Wang likens preparedness for the school year with readiness for the coming of God’s kingdom. Article in English and Chinese
116 Chinese Pastors respond to the new religious regulations
In September 2018, a house church in Chengdu posted a joint statement online declaring its stance towards the new religious regulations. So far, 116 church leaders across the country have signed their agreement to this statement. This is a powerful and inspiring document because it articulates a theology of the gospel and the kingdom rather than resorting to the language of liberty and rights. The author, Pastor Wang Yi and his wife are now in prison on charges of sedition. Their 11 year old son along with his grandmother are under house arrest and the church has been disbanded. Take some time to read this bold statement that is rallying our brothers and sisters in China and pray for them as they face this persecution.
Guangzhou city offers rewards for dobbing in churches
China’s crackdown on Christianity escalated March 20 when the government of the fifth-largest city began issuing rewards to those who report “illegal religious activities,” including house church meetings. The Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs in Guangzhou said it would reward prizes of 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yuan ($450, $750 and $1,500 U.S.) to Chinese citizens who spot and turn in their neighbors to government officials. “The authorities could not have picked a better time, just before Easter to introduce these measures,” a priest told AsiaNews. “At this time, we often meditate on the passion of Jesus and Judas’ treachery for 30 pieces of silver. The Guangzhou government wants to turn people into many mini Judas.”
As is obvious from my previous post (and for anyone who keeps up with China), the “Sinicization of Christianity” campaign is nothing more than a ploy to cajole Christians to embrace the Chinese Communist Party’s political agenda. The plan regularly uses benign language that seemingly anyone can agree with.
For example, the goals of the Sinicization of Christianity include “social harmony, advancement, and healthy civilization.” Christians are urged to “serve society and perform other solid work by engaging in justice and charitable activities to steadily make progress in stages.” Who could argue with that?
China tells Christianity to be more Chinese
The headlines out of China last week sounded ominous. In strident language not heard in a long time, the head of China’s Protestant church gave a speech supporting the government’s policy of reducing Western influence on religion and making it “more Chinese,” a process dubbed sinicization in English.
Is the move a step toward tighter government control, an opportunity to further indigenize and contextualize the faith, or perhaps both? As with most things in China, the answer is complicated.
Pray for China
According to reliable sources, the Chinese government has ordered the Religious Affairs Bureau to enforce a total crackdown on the house church movement in China. However, this is not happening only to Christian churches, but the Catholic Church, Buddhism, Islam, and other religions are also being affected.
Thanks to the openness of the internet and the new global village, we can voice our concerns internationally with little interruption. We are calling on Christians worldwide to pray for China and the church in China. We are praying for the unity of the Chinese church, and that this time of suffering and purging would call forth a new awakening and revival of our brothers and sisters.