China: New Ways to Witness
Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently talked to Brother Joel, a Christian worker who distributes Bibles in China on behalf of The Voice of the Martyrs. Joel shared stories of how Christians in China are dealing with current conditions in their country. Read part of the interview below.
Todd: In the last couple of years, more Chinese churches have been torn down, and others have been forced to close…. Right now, one of the first questions I ask international workers is about the coronavirus. How is the virus affecting the church in China? How is the church responding to the pandemic?
Joel: I would say that there has been somewhat of an increase in persecution during the virus. The church thought this would be a time when the government would be so focused on the virus that they wouldn’t have enough energy or time or people to focus on persecution of the church. But apparently that has not been the case.
But the main way I believe the coronavirus has affected the church is their desire to use this pandemic as a way to preach Christ. Even though most of the church members have lost their jobs, and they are sequestered in their homes, they are doing everything they can to start new outreach programs. They are finding families who have had a death or severe sickness, and they are meeting their physical needs. They are trying to get food to them. They are trying to get aid to them as much as they can.
There is also spiritual outreach where they are just talking to people. People around the world are feeling depressed about the virus. They are feeling lonely, and the church is trying to fill that void with Jesus.
People were not permitted to go outside very much. Even if they had only a few masks, when they could get outside, they would stop people on the street and say, “Do you need a mask? I only have 10, but I will give you one, and I would like to tell you about Jesus.” It is just tremendous the way the church has used this for evangelism.
Todd: I think there is a lesson there for American Christians, as well. Every crisis comes with an opportunity for us to reach out and share the gospel.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length and clarity)