Friday, January 13, 2012

China: A New Year’s Visit To A Persecuted Church

I pray that my Chinese brethren in Christ stay strong during as they enter this New Year with persecution continuing.

01/12/2012 China (China Aid) - For the New Year, everyone had made their plans for how to ring in the first day of the first month of 2012. But for the brothers and sisters of Beijing Shouwang Church, it brought yet another disappointment.

Everyone had been praying that, in the New Year, the government would allow them to worship indoors, so that they could have their own space to meet, to pray and to spread the Gospel. But on the first day of the new year, their hearts full of hope sank once again.

The brothers and sisters of Shouwang had no choice but to continue meeting outdoors on Jan 1st, 2012. The worship time was 8:30 a.m., so we rushed to the plaza [that had been Shouwang’s designated outdoor worship site], but unfortunately, at 8 a.m., the police had already taken into custody all the brothers and sisters who were making their way to the plaza. The plaza [was now] totally empty, with only one person in a red coat with a camera standing alertly in an inconspicuous corner looking as though he was ready to pounce. He photographed everyone in the plaza who passed by him. Police had used green tarp to enclose the entire plaza and block off all access to it, and several police vehicles were parked next to the plaza, their drivers waiting for arrests.

Because of the Sunday restrictions, if Shouwang brothers and sisters want to go worship in the plaza, they have to stay away from their homes starting on Friday and spend the night elsewhere. Nine brothers and sisters crowded into a two-bedroom apartment really broke my heart. At a time when the government is promoting a harmonious society, they are subjected to this kind of treatment because of their pursuit of the true faith. This is the true situation faced by the brothers and sisters of Shouwang Church. “Religious freedom” is for appearances only(Source).

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