‘We will respond in love’
Driving home the current situation for Christians in China, two pastors who traveled to meet with the Open doors team received phone calls from family members within 24 hours of leaving, alerting them that the police were looking for them. Authorities wanted to know their whereabouts and why they had not returned their calls.
In spite of continuous surveillance and the ever-present cloud of suspicion, these leaders reflected an overwhelming sense of joy as they worshiped God. Their smiles, laughter and determination to lead the church to know Jesus are representative of believers throughout the country who are meeting to determine next steps and their response to persecution. Bai Yahui shares:
“The situation is tense, but we know God is on the move in spite of the restrictions. We held a regional leaders’ meeting and agreed that when one of us is arrested, another will pick up the work. We also decided to respond to the police respectfully and in love even if they yell at us or use physical force [in attempts to] make us surrender the names of other believers.”
Praying with the church in China
Recently, one of our indigenous ministry partners who works to equip church leaders in China shared specific prayer needs for church leaders and churches in China:
- Fortitude. Pray with Chinese Christians and church leaders for the fortitude to withstand increasing pressure and violent acts of persecution.
- Empowerment. Pray that God would empower His church in China to reach the next generation.
- Wisdom. Pray that leaders in China’s churches would have the wisdom to know how to handle the pressure they are coming under.
- Workers for the harvest. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send workers to plant and nurture seeds that will ultimately bring forth an abundance of Kingdom fruit.
- Protection. Pray that God will protect the rights and abilities of His people in China to worship Him.
- Supernatural intervention in the hearts of leaders. Pray that Xi Jinping and other Party officials will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and put their trust in Jesus.
- Courage for believers. Pray that given the choice between religious displays and poverty rations, believers will have wisdom and courage.
- House churches and new ways to worship. Pray with congregations whose church building have been closed—that they would be emboldened to meet in homes and increasingly grow in their faith.
- China’s next generation of believers. Ask God to speak to their hearts even as the state attempts to stop or thwart their exposure to Jesus. Ask Him to raise up leaders from this persecuted generation.
- The Word of God to spread throughout China—despite the halting of online Bible sales. Pray that the new laws would drive Christians to memorize Scripture and share it.
*Representative names and photos used for security reasons