Beijing Pastor’s Joint Prayer Support (Week 4)
Pray for Beijing Shouwang Church (4)
Dear brothers and sisters, peace!
April 24th was an Easter Sunday, a day to remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross for man’s sin, but resurrected on the third day. “Jesus was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:25) After Good Friday, a day full of despair from man’s perspective, Easter inaugurates a new chapter in history and brings eternal hope to mankind! Although there is no substantial progress for Shouwang, we set our ultimate hope on the Risen Lord; “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God!”(Mark 10:27)
Shouwang Church continues to experience trials and hardships on this special Easter Sunday. On April 25th, Shouwang Church issued Announcement on April 24th Easter Outdoor Worship, saying that they experienced the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ through worshipping him in a special way on Easter Sunday. Since most believers were watched and detained at home, or were prevented to join the outdoor service by their companies purposefully, there were less than a hundred believers who made it to join the outdoor service. And thirty-six believers were taken to Haidian police station. After the inquisition record, they were sent to twenty four different local police stations. Most of them were detained for more than twenty-four hours before they were released.
The announcement not only reported on what happened at the site of outdoor service, but also on those believers who were imprisoned at home. Pastor Tianming, elder Sunyi, elder Guanhui, elder Liuguan, and pastor Xiaofeng, the five members of Shouwang Church Committee have been detained at home since April 9th. For more than twenty days, they were restricted to go out and to be visited, and were only allowed to go out for a short time under watch. Pastor Xiaobai has also been detained at home for two weeks, and minster Yuanling for a few days. The announcement stated that, “all the believers who were detained at home were very cooperative, had no conflict with the police, and some even shared the gospel with them. We believe that we are suffering for our Lord in this way, even we are not worthy.” Shouwang Church also appeals to the government that, “do not persecute believers with the authority, but to use the authority bestowed by God wisely, and to find solutions together with the church for a better relationship between the State and the Church.”
Although the incident of Shouwang Church is a public event in Beijing, there was no interview or coverage of it by any domestic media for the past three weeks. On April 26th, Global Times issued an editorial with the title of Some Individual Church should Avoid of Being Politicized. In this editorial, Shouwang Church was described as a “house church that refuse to join the legitimate Christian ‘Three- Self Patriotic Movement Committee’,” and as a large religious organization which “forms a kind of sensitivity under the current Chinese social structure and system.” Global Times comments on this incident, “During this sensitive time, Shouwang Church refuses to cooperate with the state administration and attempts to realize its demands through confrontation, which in fact echoes the political pressure exerted by the West on China. It is far beyond what a church should be able to do.” On April 27th, Shouwang Church responded it with Do not Politicize a Church that Simply Hold onto Her Faith. This passage first clarified the origin of “house church” and the history background of it since 1950s. And it stated that this incident of Shouwang Church’s outdoor service is a typical incident revealing “the old problem of religious affairs in China” which has been lasting for more than for fifty years. Then they explained why Shouwang Church, was not able to rent any place, nor to move into the property it purchased, had to have outdoor service for the sake of faith. This passage points out, “Shouwang Church is not trying to act at the limit of legal tolerance without crossing it by appealing to ‘religious freedom,’ not even to say that Shouwang Church is trying to ‘act against social management system;’ it is the action (or passive inaction) of related government departments of Beijing (or Haidian District) that caused the outdoor service become an ‘choice’ as Shouwang had no choice.” Shouwang Church also made it clear that it is not appropriate to solve a religious problem by politicizing a church that simply holds onto her faith.
We recognize that, besides the topic of the relationship between the State and the Church in current times, namely, how to face and handle the “sensitive issue” formed by the tension between “a large amount of house churches outside the existing administration of religious affairs” and the current system, Shouwang Church’s incident also forces us to reflect on the nature of our faith. Among a range of different comments and views, how to hold on to a pure and stable determination, “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God?”(Micah 6:8) As we look back, we need to admit that we are weak and limited; we need to continue to pray with urgency! May God grant wisdom and grace, so that this typical incident can be solved properly, and be a blessing to the souls in this land!
Let us continue to pray for Shouwang Church. May God remember those who are imprisoned at home, and comfort them, so that they “are partakers of grace, both in their imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:7). May God make known to the guards who watch them and to the government officials that “their imprisonment is for Christ.” (Philippians 1:13). May the God Almighty make a way for Shouwang Church, so that they can worship in the meeting place that God prepared for them.
Let us continue to pray for the government. May God bless government official at all levels, including those of the highest decision making council, of Beijing Municipal government, of Haidian District government, and of committees residential area which are involved. May they have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to know God’s unfathomable love, and to be granted with wisdom from God to rule the country and the society, and to attend well all kinds of social issues, including the relationship between the State and the Church.
Let us continue to pray for all the churches. May God help us, so that we can live out the love of Christ; let us witness the love among the members of His Body as we pray and care for each other. For “by this all people will know that we are Christ’s disciples, if we have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Let us continue to pray for Beijing. May God raise up more children of light, who would put away “all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander, along with all malice,” but pursue and live out a life of kindness, righteousness, truth, love, joy, and self-control (Ephesians 4:31, 5:9), so that this city will be a blessed city!
This week is a week to remember and celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus, let us meditate on the glorious hope brought by the resurrection of Jesus Christ as we read 1 Corinthians 15:
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Churches can continue to take part in praying:
From Monday to Saturday, you can choose one day to fast. Till now, thirty one churches and one Prayer Fellowship have committed to fast:
Monday: Zion Church, Panshi Church, Aizhizhou Church, Yinjidi Church
Tuesday: Yage Church, Vineyard Church, Fruit Tree Forest Church, Beijing Church, Zhiai Church, Daguang Church
Wednesday: City Revival Church, YongFeng Church, Trinity Church, Majiabao Church, Mustard Seed Church, Wangjing Shengai Church, Tianlu Church
Thursday: AnHua Church, ZaiDao Church, HuiMin Church, Qinganlan Church, Diaoyutai Church
Friday: Maizi Church，Agape Church, Xingdao Church, Morning Star Church, Galilee Church, Shanghai Wanbang Mission Church
Saturday: Olive Tree Church, MingGuang Church, Wotu Church, Ganlanzhi Church, Hebron Prayer Fellowship
We sincerely invite you to join us, to continue to lift up our hands to pray for Beijing ShouWang Church and all the churches, and for the government officials! May God have mercy on Beijing and bless Beijing!
(Note: 1. If your church is willing to join us to pray, please e-mail us:
2. Yesterday someone assumes us to send a fake prayer letter by using [email protected], please be aware of it. May God forgive them as they do this shameful thing in secret!)
Bejing Pastors’ Joint Prayer Meeting
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]