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Revival and rapid church growth have characterized China’s churches since the 1990s. About 130 million Chinese are Christians, most of whom worship in illegal house churches. Only about 30 million are affiliated with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) — which, as the only legal church, is controlled by the Communist government. Despite continuous pressure and oppression from the Communist government, house church leaders refuse to compromise the gospel by joining government-controlled churches. Because of decades of government oppression, few Chinese Christians have their own Bible or access to discipleship literature.
Influenced by their atheistic government, many Chinese are nonreligious. About 20 percent are Buddhists and another 20 percent practice Chinese folk religion. 9 percent are Christians.
The main persecutor is the government.
What It Means To Follow Christ In China:
In the early 2000s, many unregistered churches enjoyed some freedom from government intrusion and harassment despite their illegal status. However, in recent years restrictive religious regulations and persecution have increased significantly. Hundreds of churches have been forced to close, pastors and church members have been arrested or detained and the online sale of Bibles has been prohibited. A campaign to remove crosses from churches continues in one province. The government has installed more than 170 million facial recognition cameras, many in or near churches, to identify those who attend worship services. Church leaders are under intense pressure to join the government-controlled TSPM. In general, the farther Christians are from Beijing, the more freedom they have. Authorities pressure Christian parents by refusing their children an education; even the grandchildren of Christians are often denied schooling. It is illegal to disciple anyone younger than 18. Christians are often charged with participating in cults or with other spurious accusations, such as “bad business practices” or “intent to undermine the state.”
Access To Bibles:
Those living in rural areas have little access to Bibles and usually cannot afford them even when they are available. Bibles can be purchased at some bookstores operated by the TSPM, but rarely in significant numbers. The Bibles that VOM and other frontier missions organizations distribute each year have only begun to meet the massive need. Give Bibles
VOM distributes Bibles in the least reached, most challenging areas of China. We distribute children’s Bibles, which are illegal, as well as study Bibles for Christian leaders, which are both illegal and expensive. We also support groups that are reaching Muslims in China. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry
- Pray that house church leaders will know how to shepherd the Lord's sheep in difficult situations.
- Pray for the wisdom of believers confronted by police.
- Pray that Christians will remain faithful to Christ under all circumstances.
- Pray that Christian university students will boldly follow Christ.
- Pray that Christian children will have a firm foundation in the Lord.
- Pray that young believers will stand firm under any circumstances and stay close to God.
- Pray that God will provide protection and mercy to those in difficult situations.
- Pray that church leaders will know the best way for their congregations to meet.
- Pray for imprisoned Christians, such as Wang Yi, Zhang Shaojie, Alimujiang Yimiti and John Cao.
- Pray that Chinese churches will unite as a brilliant gospel witness.
- Pray that God will raise up more young people to serve in His kingdom.