We help to bring the voice of the persecuted church to churches in the UK and Ireland, and enable it to be heard by governments and decision-makers too. We regularly ask supporters to campaign on behalf of persecuted Christians by writing letters and using petitions.
One nation in which advocacy continues to be a central part of our work is China – a nation that says it is committed to religious freedom yet continues to repress the church.
Release partner China Aid works to expose abuses suffered by persecuted Christians, to stand in solidarity with them and promote religious freedom, human rights and the rule of law.
China Aid reports that documented cases of persecution are increasing. Recent targets have included 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.
One Christian lawyer who has suffered greatly is Li Heping. Li was initially taken from his home in 2015, during a nationwide roundup of human rights lawyers. He spent almost two years behind bars and was tortured in the first six months. His brother and fellow lawyer, Li Chunfu, emerged from a year in jail with serious mental health issues.
Even so, the church in China 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.