Sunday, December 25, 2011

Afer Months Of Persecution Church In China To End Outdoor Services

Merry Christmas to everyone out there!!!!! Even as we celebrate the incarnation of the Savior of the world, we should still lift our persecuted brethren in Christ in prayer.

12/23/2011 China (CDN) - Key issues in Chinese religious rights are taking a pivotal turn at year’s end as the beleaguered Shouwang house church in Beijing will celebrate its last outdoor service on Christmas Day, and “disappeared” human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has ostensibly resurfaced – in an undisclosed prison.
Denied access to a building they had purchased as a worship venue, the Shouwang church has been meeting outdoors – and facing weekly arrests – since April 10. A source in Beijing told Compass that next year church leaders will renew their fight to retain the venue the government had denied the congregation.

“Shouwang’s governing committee said that this coming Christmas, which fell on a Sunday this year, would see the last outdoor worship since it began on April 10,” the source said. “They said the church would actively pursue realizing the goal of returning to meet indoors after Christmas. And they still believe the best way to resolve the issue is that the government would permit the church to enter into the space it bought.”

Shouwang held its 37th outdoor service last Sunday (Dec. 18). According to a Dec. 20 post on Shouwang’s Facebook page, as Christmas approaches the police presence has increased at the plaza where the church has been meeting. Many church members were detained at home on Saturday (Dec. 17) to prevent them from traveling to the plaza. Police detained a further 35 either on arrival or on their way to the designated venue and violently seized five church members who had gathered outside Haidian Street police station to meet with detainees. Church leaders said in the post that they are hoping for a resolution to Shouwang’s dilemma this Christmas.

“Today is the day we call all the members of our church to fast and pray for Shouwang,” the post stated. “May God have mercy on his church … and grant us the place for worshipping that he prepared for His church.”

Church leaders have issued an appeal for prayer for “the key to the space the church has bought may be given before Christmas so that the issue of worship place can be solved,” they said in a Dec. 16 statement. “Whether the key is secured or not by the end of 2011, may God provide a permanent worship venue so that the whole congregation can meet together.”

Church leaders say the landlord of their previous venue had been under mounting pressure from authorities to terminate the lease. The government also prevented the church from using the premises it had purchased in late 2009.

Shouwang had paid 27 million yuan, or about US$4 million, for the second floor of the Daheng Science and Technology Tower in northwest Beijing’s Zhongguancun area. Authorities interfered, and the property developer has refused to hand the key over to the church. Earlier this month, the church leaders said, the church paid off all the money borrowed for the space.

The members of the church’s governing committee, two pastors and three elders, and other major co-workers, have been under house arrest for the whole or much of the time since April 9. Hundreds of other people, including many Shouwang parishioners and some members of other churches in Beijing and other cities, were detained for between a few hours to two days(Source).

No comments:

Post a Comment