The Chinese government has introduced even tougher restrictions on religious freedom, requiring religious leaders to “display complete devotion to the Chinese Communist Party”.
The rules limit communications between churches and overseas organisations, including donations.
But even before the new rules took effect on 1 February 2020, there were reports that Chinese officials were confiscating aid intended to help churches fight the coronavirus.
A Chinese Christian wrote on social media on 27 January, “Some overseas Christians shipped supplies designated to serve local hospitals through local churches. Yet the supplies were confiscated and the Christian who received the shipment was invited to ‘have tea’ with the police (a common practice to intimidate and threaten citizens).”
Also, a Christian human rights lawyer has been ordered to delete his posts on the coronavirus. Police warned lawyer Sui Muqing that his posts on the situation in Wuhan were damaging to the Party and ordered him to take them down.
Despite increasing persecution, Christians in Wuhan have been handing out face masks on the street and sharing their faith with pedestrians.
Sources: Release International, International Christian Concern, China Aid
- Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of the Chinese believers, who continue to share the Gospel so faithfully. Pray for continued boldness.
- Praise God for the growth of the church in China and pray He may use the current situation for the spiritual benefit of the people.
- Pray for strength and unity for the church across the nation.