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Family members of prisoners - Photo: ChinaAid
Family members of those who were sentenced with prison terms.
Photo: ChinaAid

The Xuncheng Reformed Church in Taiyuan, China, has faced numerous raids over the past year. On December 30th, 2020, while Pastor An Yankui was hosting a Bible study in his home, security officers raided the house and forcefully restrained him (view this page). During his detainment, the pastor served a 15-day administrative detention.

Moreover, in May 2021, police officers raided the home of Zhao Weikai, another leader of the church, confiscating his computer equipment and books (see this report). As documentaries were found in his home about the Tiananmen Square massacre and the 2009 Xinjiang riots, Zhao was officially arrested in July and charged with the "illegal holding of materials promoting terrorism and extremism" (read more).

Further pressure was placed on this Christian community when Chinese officials charged five members of the church and arrested two others (including Pastor An Yankui) on accusations of "illegally crossing the national border." The charges relate to a conference attended in Kuala Lumpur during January 2020. This conference was hosted by Pastor Stephen Tong Tjong Eng, who has been openly critical of the Chinese Communist Party because of its religious persecution.

Even though all those attending the conference had legally obtained passports and visas to travel, officials fabricated charges against them in July 2021. Recently, on January 7th, the Fenyang Court sentenced Zhang Ligong, Wang Runyun, Wang Shiqiang, Zhang Yaowen and Song Shoushan to terms ranging from six to eight months' imprisonment.

In addition to these sentences, the same charges were added to the list of offenses against Pastor An Yankui and Zhang Chenghao. While these church leaders were detained in November 2021, they were formally arrested on December 29th. The two Christian men are presently being held at the Xiaoyi City Detention Centre.

Pray for increased endurance, boldness and patience on behalf the mentioned church members who are being unjustly detained. May they sense anew the refreshing presence of God surrounding them and, subsequently, find rest in His grace and strength through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, prayerfully remember the concerned families of these detained Christians, as well as other members of the church who are sharing their concerns, asking that each of these believers will also experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding as they await with hopeful anticipation for their loved ones' release.

Current Ministry Projects

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada continues to help distribute Bibles to Christians within China, making it possible for them to have their own print version of God's Word. Additionally, VOMC works with various mission partners to facilitate a Biblical understanding of persecution and discipleship, presenting Chinese believers with effective ways in which they can respond and minister within the context of hostility.

Project Funds: Bible (Distribution), Equipping the Saints, Underground Church

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Han Chinese (91.6), Zhuang (1.3), Other (7.1)

Religion (%)
Buddhism (18.3), Christianity (5.2), Islam (1.8), folk religion (21.9), Muslim (2) Hinduism (<0.1), Judaism (<0.1), other (0.7), unaffiliated (51.8)

Leader
President Xi Jinping (2013)

Government type
Communist party-led state

Legal system
Based on civil law system; influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for China

Pray that the Gospel will be proclaimed throughout China without government interference so many more names can be added to the Lamb's "Book of Life." May there also be a spirit of unity demonstrated among the country's growing churches, further strengthening existing believers and spurring them on in their ministry service and evangelistic outreach within the country's numerous communities.

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