Under House Arrest
The Rise of Religious Persecution
We received a frantic request from our friend, Eve. She and her husband, both Americans, relocated their family to China several years ago. Her husband, Adam, has been very instrumental with many of our outreaches in their area.
Eve’s message read, “It's almost bed time here. I haven't heard any new updates as of yet. Hoping to hear something soon. It's been about 26 hours since all of this started. Keep praying.”
What? We obviously had missed a prior message and reached out to her only to find that Adam had been arrested. But what happened over the next 24 hours was nothing short of miraculous intervention in a country where religious persecution is on the rise.
After it was all over, we learned Adam had been put under house arrest by the local police for PROTECTION. Here is the rest of the story from him and how God touches the hearts of those around us.
“Officials showed up and took me for a ride in their car. Why? One of the Chinese girls we rescued from human trafficking returned to the man we rescued her from, erroneously thinking he loved her. He beat her severely and ran her off.
“He then followed her to our Bible school location where I was teaching. The brothel owner contacted some corrupt government officials he works with and they were planning to come bust up our school.”
God’s hand of protection using the Chinese police!
"Apparently someone with authority in the government knows about our humanitarian work and found out about their plans. They quickly arranged some people to come arrest me and take me away safely before the corrupt officials arrived. The police took me to a station and held me in a cell until 1:00 AM. They then drove me to a hotel and put me on guarded house arrest. (In the meantime) they towed my SUV back 73 miles for free. Whoever towed my SUV also filled up the gas tank which had been on empty when I arrived, but was full when I got it back!”
“I didn't find out what was actually going on until they safely transported me back home.”
And yet persecution is on the rise in China!
Talk about a paradox! Thank God for the police who helped Adam. But we have been seeing more and more reports of religious persecution over the last few years under the current leadership of China. Up to 1700 church crosses were forcibly removed and some multi-million dollar churches demolished in Zhejiang province in 2015 and there has been a greater tightening of laws against unregistered churches nationwide from 2016 to the present.
Here are a few other examples:
- Five persecuted Christians in China were reportedly sentenced to between three to seven years in prison for purchasing and selling what authorities called "forbidden Christian devotional books." (Read more here)
- In a separate case earlier this year, Ma Hui Chao and four other Christians were arrested by officials for meeting to study the Bible without government approval. Although Ma pleaded innocent, she was sentenced to three years in prison for her crime.."We have good reasons to worry that the major religions in China, especially house churches and underground Catholic and Protestant churches, will suffer the most unprecedented suppression under the name of the 'transforming into the Communist Party of China' since the Cultural Revolution," the group warned. (Read more here)
How We Can Help
We know it was the prayers of believers that brought about the miraculous intervention by the Chinese police to protect Adam.
His story could have had a very different ending had it not been for the prayers of the saints, considering the level of persecution and danger to the Chinese believers and workers recently.
The Church THRIVE Project
As we shared in last month’s newsletter, we are partnering to help provide Bibles and discipleship materials for 1,000 new Chinese churches that will be started this year by Chinese evangelistic teams. We call this our THRIVE Project. Why? Because reports reveal that half of all new church plants die if they don’t receive Bibles and discipleship materials for the new converts. But with the Word of God and discipleship, they will actually THRIVE!
$18.30 Provides a Discipleship Packet
We are honored to come alongside our Chinese brothers and sisters to help sponsor the Bibles and discipleship materials for new churches. But we can only help as supporters like you join us in this endeavor. This is a true TEAM effort. Each discipleship packet costs about $18.30. Several of these packets are provided for each church plant. We have agreed to work towards raising $20,000 of the $48,000 still needed this year.
CAN YOU HELP? Any size gift will help but for the sake of these believers, please give your best gift to help these new churches and the new believers they serve THRIVE for Jesus.
MORE PRAYER NEEDED
- Upcoming ministry in Arkansas (3/27), California (3/29-4/4), and Oklahoma (4/5) that God will connect many new supporters to our China work.
- For Chinese church leaders to be protected, trained and encouraged.
- For the April 9-14 children’s ministry seminar to be blessed & all trainees to be equipped & encouraged
- Increased financial & prayer support to meet the increasing number of invitations & opportunities.
Upcoming Children’s Ministry Training
Our China coordinator was asked by an underground seminary to create a one week seminar to train children’s ministry workers. There are very little resources available in China. Overall, children’s ministry is not supported and in some areas not even allowed by the government. Pray for our coordinator, Tabitha, and the other trainer as they teach many hours each day from April 9-14.