Their suffering does not go unnoticed by God, and so it should never go unnoticed by us.
Friends, our brothers and sisters in China covet your prayers.
This past Sunday, Zion Church—one of Beijing’s largest house churches—is being persecuted by Chinese government authorities. These threats came after months of persecution and harassment endured by Zion’s pastor Jin “Ezra” Mingri and many parishioners.
To add some background, the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities has been taking place in China for decades; the country has been listed as a country of particular concern on the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom report since 1999.
But religious persecution as a whole in China has been on the upswing ever since President Xi took office back in 2013. Under his leadership, the nation has tightened its grip on religious affairs taking place within its borders.
In February of this year, a list of Regulations for Religious Affairs was released by the Chinese government with the supposed aim of “protect[ing] citizens’ freedom of religious belief.” The governments actions, however, continue to speak louder than their words.
After Pastor Mingri refused authorities request for the church to install video cameras for “security reasons,” the retaliation began. Parishioners were harassed by government officials. The church’s landlord suddenly evicted them from their building. Pamphlets were distributed to Zion’s attendees advertising the “officially sanctioned” churches that they might attend.
Sadly, this story isn’t told in isolation; churches across the country could tell us similar tales of the ways President Xi and his officials are attacking their religious rights. The Chinese government …