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Speaking as God’s advocates in China

China presents itself to the world as a nation that is committed to religious freedom, and in recent years laws have been passed purporting to underline this commitment.

And yet, in spite of this apparent commitment, Release partners China Aid report that documented cases of persecution are increasing. As recently as 2014 it reports that almost 18,000 individuals suffered persecution – 1,592 of whom were church leaders.

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They include prominent Christian lawyers and pastors who have stood up for the rights of the poor. Those who question the authorities can find themselves branded enemies of the state and charged with undermining national security.

Even so, the church is growing, and is contributing to church growth elsewhere. In 2015, more than 900 house church pastors pledged to send 20,000 missionaries to other nations by 2030.

One Christian lawyer who has suffered greatly is Li Hepeng. Li was initially taken from his home in 2015, during a nationwide roundup of human rights lawyers. During the first six months of his imprisonment, he was tortured, and after nearly two years of arbitrary imprisonment was found guilty of “subversion of state power”. He was sentenced to three years in prison with a four-year suspension, depriving him of political rights for four years.

Release partner China Aid works to expose abuses such as those suffered by Li Heping and his family in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law. Through China Aid Release supports Christians in China through printing, producing and distributing a book about Christian marriage, Bibles and other Christian resources. We also support workers in China who investigate cases of persecution, provide support to families and arrange legal aid.

A prayer for China