The persecuted church in China

There seems to be little doubt that state sponsored persecution is on the rise in China. The government of President Xi Jinping seems to have realised that the church does not regard the government as their ultimate authority and that is a threat. 

First Chinese police raid prominent house church and arrest its pastor Wang Yi. So far so authoritarian. Then something happened that was probably not anticipated by the Chinese authorities. 

Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out.

This letter then went viral. Although it’s unlikely to change government policy it will set an early marker for all that will follow. Calling for faithful disobedience and non-violent it charts a path that other leaders and members will now likely follow. It has also raised the rest of the Christian world on to alert and that can still bring unwanted attention and rebuke.

It’s also worth noting helping something go viral is really inadequate and feeble if that’s where it stops. After all the next week there were more closures and arrests. The Chinese government won’t change their policy just because you shared something on Facebook – the secular equivalent of ‘thoughts and prayers.’ But pray you should.

I recommend reading the whole letter and I found reading Jackson Wu’s comments helpful too (part 1 and part 2). 

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