What’s Going On in China?
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited and paraphrased for length and clarity)
Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed several Christians from China. “What is the latest from the church in China?” Todd asked one pastor.
“At the beginning,” the pastor answered, “The persecution really started in [one city] where they took down the crosses off the churches. Now the whole country is under persecution.
Todd: What is it about the church that is so threatening or so bothersome to the government?
Pastor: It is because of the growth of Christianity in China. The number of Christians we have now in China is more than 110 million. This is more than the number of members of the Communist Party in China. So they are kind of afraid that too many Christians will bother or affect politics.
Todd: How has this affected your church?
Pastor: They came with 40-50 police, and they will took away our stuff. All our church stuff, like chairs, computers, the projector, anything like that.
Todd: What did the people in the congregation do when 40 or 50 policemen came in?
Pastor: Some of the kids were kind of afraid and started crying; others took out their phones and started video-taping. Then they took all the phones away, and wallets and ID cards. The second time when they came, they had about 150-200 police.
Todd: As a pastor, how do you prepare the people in your congregation to face that situation and not to be overcome by fear?
Pastor: For our church, when the persecution started and I knew that it was possible that we would be persecuted, we invited some lawyers to come and give us some lessons. They taught us about the laws. What we are doing is legal. It is not illegal. Also, all the pastors in the church give sermons about how a real Christian will be persecuted. So when the church knows about the law and knows about the truth of the Bible, they will not be in great fear when they are taken away by the police.
I have been taken to prisons more than 20 times. I have been in prison for sometimes three months or days, or maybe only a couple of hours. There was a time where I was beaten and a few of my ribs were broken, and I had to lay in bed for about half a year. I can’t say that I don’t have any fear. I do have some fear about going to jail, but if it is the purpose of God that I have to go to jail then I will do what I have to do.
Todd: How can we pray for the Chinese church right now?
Pastor: I want you to pray that China can realize that Christianity is good. I also want you to pray for pastors or workers in the church. Pray that their faith is not to be affected by the persecution, but that they can stand strong and keep on doing what they are doing.