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Christmas in China

December 25, 2008

Tonight I’m thinking of my millions of persecuted brothers and sisters in China after seeing this news report:

Registered Church in Jiangsu Province Demolished, Christians Beaten

December 22, 2008

JIANGSU – The morning of December 17, 2008, police officers, together with nearly a thousand unidentified people, led by government officials from Yancheng city, Jiangsu province and real estate developers, forcibly demolished the Chengnan Christian Church of Tinghu District. The destruction of this registered church came less than 24 hours after the church won a court case protecting their building against the same individuals who attacked it. The mob took away property belonging to the church and beat more than 10 Christians. Contacts report that the destruction was the result of government officials and powerful businessmen working in collusion to obtain the coveted church property by force.   (for full story click here)

While this story saddens me and reminds me to pray for my Chinese brothers and sisters, I am inspired by the exponential growth of the Chinese underground church in the face of severe persecution.  It’s difficult to get the truth on the actual numbers of Christians and the government cracks down when reports surface, but estimates vary from 30 million to 130 million(1).  According to a Christianity Today article (2), “the government-registered Christian church (Three Self Patriotic Movement) includes about 28 million followers. There may be as many as 80 million Christians in unregistered congregations. According to Operation World, independent Christian congregations, mostly evangelical and charismatic, are growing at a rate of 9 percent annually. That’s a huge growth rate since China’s overall population (1.3 billion) is growing at about 0.6 percent annually.'”

I’m praying for my persecuted brethren tonight – that their efforts to share the gospel will bring many more into the kingdom of God before Christ’s return.  I’m thanking God for the freedoms we have in this country to freely worship and share our faith without fear of being beaten or killed.  What a privilege and blessing!

Merry Christmas!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 25, 2008 2:41 am

    I’ll be traveling over the holidays and don’t know if I will have access to a computer or not. I will probably be absent from the blogosphere for about a week. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

  2. January 25, 2009 3:56 pm

    just getting logged on; hope this works; LOVE the website Jess and friends

  3. January 26, 2009 3:49 am

    Hi Germit!!! Welcome! 🙂

  4. January 26, 2009 6:56 pm

    I sympathize with the suffering and plight of Chinese Christians.

    However, odd as this may sound, Communism and the expelling of foreign missionaries might have been one of the best things that ever happened to Christianity in China. It forced the movement to become indigenous for one thing, rather than overly-reliant on foreign methods of worship (I’ve always considered this one of the Mormon missionary program’s weaknesses). I also think that religions tend to grow their strongest when they are most persecuted. The commitment level of the worshiper goes up.

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