Chinese officials demolish megachurch and arrest leaders
Chinese Christians in Anhui are said to be ‘outraged’ after their state-registered church was demolished and their pastors arrested.
Demolition work (pictured) began at Funan County Christian Church on Friday, partway through a worship service. (More information and a short video clip of the demolition here.)
Elderly church members knelt down in front of the church, begging officials not to destroy the building, says Release partner ChinaAid. Several fainted and required hospital treatment.
Pastors Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao were arrested the next day on suspicion of ‘gathering a crowd to disturb social order’. Their church could seat up to 3,000 people.
ChinaAid Director Bob Fu says believers are ‘outraged’. ‘The Chinese Government is now ordering believers to worship in a remote endangered building which can only host a few hundred people,’ he said. Yet, ChinaAid says many Christians, including those in Funan, are too afraid to speak out for fear of more persecution.
- Pray that God will bless His people in Funan and provide a new building for them. Pray that they will grow in unity and faith through this ordeal.
- Pray for the immediate release without charge of Funan pastors Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao. Ask God to comfort those who were distressed by the demolition.
- Praise God that Christianity is growing fast in China, despite intense persecution. Sources quoted by ChinaAid estimate that there are now more than 100 million Christians in China.
(Source: China Aid)
Please continue to pray for our Christian family in Tizi Ouzou province, Algeria, where police closed three churches last Tuesday, in Tizi Ouzou city, Makouda and Tafat. Two days later, leaders of the church in Freha were told their building would soon be sealed. When Christians protested peacefully outside provincial government buildings in Tizi Ouzou on Thursday, 97 of them were violently arrested. In a systematic government crackdown which began two years ago, 11 churches in Algeria have now been sealed – including eight since May. Pray that this campaign against the churches will end.
(Source: Middle East Concern)