100 churches closed in China province
Scores of churches have been shut down in a central China province as the crackdown on Christianity continues.
By the end of May, almost 100 house churches had been forcibly closed in Henan, according to Release partner China Aid. Even state-registered churches have been ordered to remove crosses from their buildings.
Please pray for churches in Henan facing a fresh wave of persecution.
The official crackdown began in February and appears to have been prompted by new Regulations for Religious Affairs which relate to registering church activities.
In Ningling County, local Christians now report that officials have ordered all churches to remove their crosses. Others in Ningling say that officials are insisting only five people can meet together without official permission – and are posting guards at church gates to limit numbers.
Back in March, many Christians were detained in Luoning County, and preaching and gathering for worship were said to have been banned.
China Aid reports that the Communist Party appears to be instigating the crackdown through conferences for local officials focusing on ‘ethnic and religious affairs’. Church closures in Ningling began soon after one such event in Shiqiao town.
- Pray for wisdom for church leaders in Henan, that they will seek God’s face and hear His voice clearly.
- Pray that Christians whose churches have been closed will find new ways to have fellowship. Pray that their faith will be refined and strengthened through persecution (1 Peter 1:6-7).
- Ask God to speak to Henan officials charged with enforcing new regulations on religion. Pray that they will start to question the motivation behind such decrees – and want to learn more about Jesus. (See here for more information about our #Pray50)
(Source: China Aid)
ERITREAN PASTOR FREED AFTER 11 YEARS
Thank God that Eritrean pastor, Oqbamichel Haiminot, has been released from prison after 11 years behind bars. This was the third and longest time the Kale Hiwot Church leader had been imprisoned: he was jailed in 2003 and 2005. Please pray for his complete physical and spiritual healing: he’s believed to be in need of medical care.