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Elder Zhang Chunlei
Elder Zhang Chunlei
Photo: ChinaAid

In March 2021, the Ren'ai Reformed Church in Guiyang, China, was raided by agents of the religious affairs bureau, together with public security officers. During the raid, ten church members were taken into custody. The church leader, Elder Zhang Chunlei, attempted to negotiate with the police; however, after doing so, he himself became detained. For more details on the initial incident, see this page.

Elder Zhang remained in detention without charge for 19 months until his trial finally began on November 29th of this year. He was charged with fraud and inciting subversion of state power. For reasons unknown, the trial was held in secret under very strict security. His wife, Yang Aiqing, applied to attend the trial but was denied. She was also not allowed to see him after the trial concluded, which is normally allowed. Members of the church who waited outside the entrance of the courthouse during the trial were removed by security personnel.

Reports indicate that, despite his time in prison, Elder Zhang appears healthy. During the six-hour trial, the church leader denied all allegations of fraud and subversion, explaining that the purpose of his ministry work is for the sake of the Gospel. The verdict was not announced during the trial and, at last report, is still unknown.

Pray for a positive outcome for Elder Zhang, specifically asking that he be exonerated of all accusations. In the meantime, while awaiting news of the verdict, may his wife be permitted to visit him. Please also prayerfully remember the other members of the Ren'ai church who continue to be harassed by the authorities, as well as Christians throughout China who are currently being detained for their faith in Christ. May each of these persecuted believers receive greatly needed encouragement, comfort and strength so they can persevere and serve as effective witnesses to those greatly in need of eternal salvation.

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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