CHINA: 200 Chinese Christians arrested in ‘cult’ crackdown
A crackdown on ‘cults’ in Yunnan province has led to mass arrests of Christians – with many now facing long jail sentences.
Six members of a church in the Lincang area have just been handed sentences of up to 13 years – after a court convicted them of being part of a ‘dangerous sect’.
Please pray for our family in Yunnan, under pressure from officials who accuse them of cult activity.
The sentencing of Lincang Christians last week is the latest fallout of a co-ordinated campaign against the so-called Three Grades of Servants organisation which began in 2016. Officials used the campaign as a pretext to round up about 200 Christians across Yunnan: some Christians have already been convicted, while others are awaiting trial.
The authorities have recently told some of the lawyers defending church members that they are suspected of defending their clients ‘illegally’ and that their qualifications will be ‘reviewed’.
Meanwhile, the Chinese judiciary in neighbouring Guizhou province is putting severe pressure on house church Christians. A court has just upheld a decision to fine Pastor Yang Hua and Pastor Su Tianfu of Huoshi Church almost £800,000 after decreeing that church offerings were ‘illegal income’.
- Please pray for justice for the six Christians from Yunnan who have just been given hefty sentences: Ju Dianhong (13 years), Liang Qin (ten years) and Zhang Hongyan, Zi Huimei, Yang Shunxiang and Zhang Shaocai, whose sentences range from four to eight years.
- Please pray that Yunnan officials will realise the fundamental importance of religious freedom and see that Christians pose no danger to the state. See #PRAY50
- Ask God to flood Pastor Yang Hua’s prison cell and Su Tianfu’s home with His presence and peace. Pray that the church offerings will not have to be paid to the state.
(Source: China Aid)
Iranian Christians strong in their faith
Praise God that despite being under pressure to convert back to Islam, Iranian believers Amin Nader Afshar and Hadi Askary, who both have long prison sentences, are reported to be firm in their faith! Pray that their appeals will succeed.
Pray also for a successful appeal against a five-year jail term for our Iranian sister Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh who has just been sentenced for acting against ‘national security’. Shamiram’s conviction followed that of her husband, Pastor Victor Tamraz, on the same charge in July. (Source: Middle East Concern)