The two official church bodies in Shandong province announced in a joint statement that authorities have banned all online preaching. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and China Christian Council (CCC) sent a joint statement to all member churches on Feb. 23, 2020, stating that “leaders of supervision departments” ordered all livestreamed preaching should cease and that churches that gather should be sought out and stopped. Both the TSPM and the CCC are state-run religious organizations, meaning that they report to the Chinese Communist Party. As the government has systematically moved to close churches (both official and unapproved), many congregations have moved online. However, it looks like the government wishes to clamp down on this religious activity as well. Continue to pray for Christians in China.
Online Preaching Banned
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Praise God for the Release of Four Men and Faithfulness of Seven FamiliesFour Christian men arrested over the past two months were released from jail recently. The first believer to be arrested, "Sanyahak," was detained in early October after 40 people came to know Christ through his witness. The three other men were later arrested, amid ongoing harassment of seven Christian families in the community.
Pray for Arrested Christian Students and Children of Arrested ParentsSixteen Christian students were arrested earlier this month, the latest in a series of arrests since May 2017. The students, who were arrested after being discovered praying together, were held for more than two weeks before being released.
Village Bans Buddhists from Selling Food to ChristiansAuthorities in a Buddhist village recently established a law forbidding Buddhists from hiring Christians for work and from renting or selling anything to Christians. As a result, believers in the village are unable to buy food. Every day, village authorities pressure the Christians to return to Buddhism, promising that if they do they will be able to buy food again. The believers, however, are standing firm. "This is not a game," one Christian replied. "We were baptized. We believe in Christ 100 percent and we will die believing."
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