Experts are concerned at the Chinese government plan to introduce tighter restrictions and monitoring of all religious activity. New regulations will control all activity, from the formation of religious bodies, to the content they produce and communicate, as well as their management. Religious leaders will be required to follow the guidelines set by the Communist Party and must spread the Party’s values and policies in all their gatherings. It remains to be seen how strictly these new regulations will be enforced and how the church can navigate them. One persecution analyst said, “It sounds like ‘messing with the message of the gospel’ which is more dangerous than the physical crackdowns.”
News of these regulations came after the sentencing of a prominent Protestant pastor, Wang Yi, for “inciting subversion of state power”. Pastor Li was also an outspoken supporter of religious freedom. “This is the ‘old’ pattern of persecution, where authorities would take action when you – like Wang Li – were too big or too outspoken,” Muller said. “But of course, his sentencing is a message the Party wishes to send.” A professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Centre for China Studies said, “The Chinese government is afraid that more people are turning to the church for their spiritual needs and not to official nationalism and patriotism.” Please continue to pray for the Chinese church.
Pray For China:
* Pray that religious restrictions will increase the church in faith, strength and boldness.
* Praise God that in times of persecution, the Chinese church is showing resilience.
* Pray that members of the Communist government will come to know the love of Jesus.
Source: Open Doors