Please pray for the estimated 60 million Christian believers in China as the government cracks down on religion. The government has begun to remove crosses from church buildings and recently held a “religious affairs work conference” to rein in religious groups across the country. According to an article in the New York Times one congregation has come under heavy persecution:

china-church-1“The Salvation Church, a complex with three spires atop a three-story congregation hall, offices and a parking lot, quickly became a center of resistance. Hundreds of parishioners encircled the church to protect the cross, facing off against hundreds of riot police officers.”

“In one confrontation, about 50 church members were injured. Pictures of bruised and beaten Christians flooded social media and the websites of overseas Christian advocacy groups.”

“According to parishioners, the government put pressure on the most active members of the congregation. Some businessmen say their partners were pressured into canceling contracts with them. Others were told by their employers that they would lose their jobs if they continued to participate in protests.”

“On a four-day journey through this lush swath of China’s Zhejiang Province, I spoke with residents who described in new detail the breathtaking scale of an effort to remove Christianity’s most potent symbol from public view. Over the past two years, officials and residents said, the authorities have torn down crosses from 1,200 to 1,700 churches, sometimes after violent clashes with worshipers trying to stop them.”

“It’s been very difficult to deal with,” said one church elder in Shuitou, who like others asked for anonymity in fear of retaliation by the authorities. “We can only get on our knees and pray.”

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“Never Alone” Encouragement Cards

As our brothers and sisters get on their knees to pray we can also lift up our prayers to our Lord in support of them. The Voice of the Martyrs USA will send those imprisoned for their faith a personal note of prayer and encouragement from you. Please take the time to stand with those who stand for their faith and endure imprisonment and persecution.

Decapitated Churches in China’s Christian Heartland