Mission Ministry Persecuted Church Prayer Focus - China
China's communist government only recognizes state-registered churches and officially admits the existence of around 22 million Christians. In reality, there may be as many as 100 million believers in China, most of whom are part of a vibrant unregistered "house church" movement, which is seen as a threat to the avowedly atheist state.
Outright persecution is usually localized and sporadic, but since XI Jinping became president in 2013, there has been an increase in persecution. In August 2017, authorities notified more than 100 registered churches in the eastern province of Zhejiang that minors would not be permitted to participate in religious activities, even if accompanied by their parents.
Christians also face discrimination in employment and are barred from high level positions in business and government. The director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs said party members (89 million of Chinese citizens) ,"should be firm Marxist atheists, obey party rules and stick to the party faith...they are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion."
Recently, three provincial governments in China have deported hundreds of South Korean missionaries from the North Korean border region. Many believe that the missionaries were deported because of their involvement with assisting North Korean defectors.
- Please pray for the safety of the house church members as they meet in clandestine locations.
- Pray that they hear the truth of your word and that they remain faithful in spite of the persecution.
- Also, pray that XI Jinping's government realize that the church movement among Christians is not a political movement and not to fear their presence.
- China is in need of Bibles, and when the opportunity arises, pray that we will meet that need.
- Pray that those who escape North Korea and end up in China will find help among the Christians there.