According to Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Hyun Sook Foley and China Aid President Bob Fu, the growing number of crackdowns against the Chinese government’s own state-registered “Three-Self” churches are likely to boost the growth of house churches in China rather than reduce the number of Christians.
This week, Voice of the Martyrs Korea and China Aid co-released Chinese government documents denying state churches in Zhejiang province the right to baptize, have an offering box, or conduct revival meetings. Pastors there must now submit their sermons to authorities three days before preaching.
Representative Foley noted, “Voice of the Martyrs Korea and China Aid released documents last year detailing the efforts by the Chinese government to reduce the number of government-registered ‘Three-Self’ churches by two-thirds, and requiring the remaining state churches to significantly reduce their membership.
But historically, in China and around the world, outlawing baptism and closing state churches has not curtailed the growth of the church. Instead, it has driven that growth underground, where the church finds new stamina and purpose. We expect that same thing to happen in China, and we are already seeing evidence in the form of a surge in interest in home-based worship among Chinese Christians.”
Hundreds of churches in more than 30 Chinese provinces are now looking to shift as many of the teaching and worship responsibilities of their churches to lay leaders and parents meeting in small groups in members’ homes.
Home meetings led by lay leaders and Sunday Schools led by parents are much harder for the government to stop.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs Korea
“We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.” (Hebrews 3:14)
We praise you Lord for the faith of the Chinese church that is more precious than refined gold!
May the Chinese church be victorious by holding onto the cross of Jesus even in the midst of increasing government persecution!
Though the Chinese government is demolishing the three-self churches that they are surveilling, we thank you that the church is working to teach and share Your Word by gathering in family groups.
May the lay leaders continue to find ways to share and teach the Word, and let them rise up to become a Chinese church that is filled with the Holy Spirit and will fulfill the vision of sending out 1 million missionaries to the ends of the earth to testify Jesus and the gospel with power!