It is my privilege as a member of Jesus’ church to care deeply about, and for, my Chinese brothers and sisters. Of late, daily living for Christ’s church in China has become increasingly difficult and more complicated (this a general statement, nuanced by the individual context of each local congregation within China). This difficulty has come through a broader trend, across Chinese society, of retrenchment and power consolidation on the part of the Chinese Communist Party. Especially unregistered, non-governmental churches in China find themselves facing increasing pressure, harassment, and outright persecution at the hands of Chinese authorities. This means that my Chinese family (Luke 8:19-21) is suffering.
Let me share with you a statement emailed by an organization I respect (China Partnership) regarding the current (that means right now, today!) experience of one congregation in Chengdu:
“Call to Prayer and Fasting for the Church in Chengdu”
“Starting on Sunday, December 9, news broke of the arrest of Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, along with the mass detention of his church leaders and congregants, the separation of their families, and the destruction of both church and personal property. In total more than 100 congregants have been arrested. Some have been released, but 80 people are still missing and arrests are ongoing. The arrests and detentions have at times been physically violent and humiliating/degrading. The viciousness and thoroughness of this attack is unprecedented in recent Chinese history.”
“House churches across China have been united in fasting and prayer. China Partnership is calling for Christians across the globe to stand with Chengdu in prayer.”
We call for a global time of prayer at 8pm EST on Friday, December 14. We also encourage participants to fast as they are able on Friday.”
China Partnership also posted on it’s blog a statement written by Pastor Wang Yi titled: My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience. Let me encourage you to take twenty minutes (it’s somewhat lengthy) and read this document. It is absolutely profound. I’m privileged to sit under the teaching ministry of this brother – albeit from a distance, and through a statement he wrote for release in the event of his arrest and sustained detention.
May Jesus sustain – and build – his church in Chengdu…