Chinese Churches Challenge the Rules
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, an Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons - Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law- Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren - Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2006 Oct 06
I found a good article in the Washington Post about how some churches in China are challenging the rules of the Communist government. A sidebar to the article contains a video of authorities recently demolishing an illegal house church. The article discusses the new boldness of Christians in the Wenzhou and Zhejiang provinces just south of Shanghai. In a strange turn of events, some house churches are now registering with the government but refusing to join the state-run Three-Self Patriotic Church.
"Wenzhou's Christians have a lot of social connections, a lot of friends, they're very capable," said Chen Cun-fu, director of the Institute of Christianity and Cross-Cultural Studies at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. "They're smart, they know how to do things. They're young, they have money, they have their own cars and cellphones."
Meanwhile, a growing number of college students, lawyers, businessmen and preachers educated abroad are also joining illegal house churches.
The article closes with this reminder that there are empty hearts everywhere and only Jesus can give lasting peace:
Zheng Datong, a Wenzhou preacher who gives sermons in both registered and unregistered churches, said churches in China are an important outlet for the middle class in Zhejiang province.
"I have many friends who are middle class and who own their own businesses," he said. "I can tell there is a need for them to do some soul-searching. People have everything now -- they have cars, they have houses -- but no peace."
Pray for the church in China as it continues to grow daily despite official harassment and sometimes outright persecution.
You can reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.