China marks Tiananmen Square anniversary with church closures and censorship
As the world’s attention turns to Beijing to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre this week, Chinese officials continue their assault on religious freedom.
In recent weeks, churches across China have been told to close and the Government has censored all mention of the anniversary.
Please pray that our brothers and sisters in China will stand strong in their faith.
Release partner China Aid reports that Xunsiding Church in Xiamen city, in southern Fujian province, was banned last month. Government agents claimed that Pastor Yang Xibo and his congregation were meeting illegally under China’s 2018 Regulations on Religious Affairs.
In Zhengzhou, central Henan province, the authorities have claimed ownership of a huge state-run church (un-named in reports), valued at more than £1 million, and say they plan to turn it into a hotel. Meanwhile, a 100-year-old Xigu Church in the north-eastern city of Tianjin is threatened with demolition.
Last month, officials raided a church in Bijie, a mountainous area of Guizhou, southern China, removing its cross and confiscating all its belongings. Cross removals were also reported in Shandong and Henan provinces in April.
- Praise God for the courage and faithfulness of our church family in China, who are standing strong against persecution. Ask Him to continue to strengthen and encourage them. Pray that the congregations facing closure will be allowed to worship in freedom.
- Thank God that our partners report rapid church growth in rural areas of China in recent years.
- Please pray for officials at the Chinese Embassy in London who will receive Release’s petition on June 28, calling on President Xi Jinping to repeal its 2018 religious regulations. There is still time to sign the petition here.
- Please stand with us in marking the Day of the Christian Martyr with your church on June 29, by remembering modern-day Christian martyrs, in China and worldwide.
(Sources: China Aid, CNN)