As the Chinese Communist Party continues to restrict the free exercise of religion among its citizens, a virtual church service given by a Guangdong church was recently raided and the pastors ordered to stop preaching.
On July 11, Pastor Mao Zhibin and Elder Chu Yanqing were hosting a service over Zoom from the Shenzhen Trinity Gospel Harvest Church’s building in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
According to ChinaAid, the church was reportedly surrounded by an array of state officials, from security agents to police officers to officials from the authoritarian regime’s religious affairs bureau.
The leaders were ordered to stop preaching.
According to the organization, Shenzhen Trinity Gospel Church strongly advocates for justice in China and many dissidents have joined it in recent years.
Pastor Mao and Elder Shen Ling also put their support behind a statement issued from the much-persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church’s Pastor Wang Yi, “A Joint Statement by Pastors: A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith.”
Early Rain Covenant Church has been raided a number of times and its leaders and members taken into police custody. In one instance earlier this year, a homeschool operated by the church was raided.
Trinity Gospel Harvest Church’s support for the joint statement from Pastor Wang has resulted in their facing increased scrutiny from CCP authorities.
The church was also raided by authorities on April 25. Those in attendance were ordered to leave and church leaders and seven congregants taken into police custody.
“Today, joint force officials from the religious affairs bureau, public security department personnel, and national security agency authorities banned our church,” Pastor Mao said at the time. “We have not faced such a serious situation as this since we founded our church four years ago.”
ChinaAid notes that despite these reports, church leaders and members all remain safe.
We must pray fervently for the church in China as they face increased pressure from the CCP to conform their teachings to its ideology or live in constant fear of such raids.
They are our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet is the global community paying attention to their plight? Hardly.
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