The situation for Christians in China continues to worsen.
Communist police are taking advantage of the pandemic to arrest pastors and congregants.
But recently, they were taken aback when one pastor reminded them of this truth.
“I rebuke them, calling them out that they are not minding business that they should be minding,” said Pastor Luo, the leader of Nanjing Road Church in Wuhan province.
“Christians disregarded their own lives to do good things, yet the police treat them as the bad guys,” he continued. “This is unreasonable.”
Pastor Luo bravely spoke these words in the presence of Communist police, who had arrested him and interrogated him at the police station for more than four hours.
The police had used Zoom and other online communication tools to track down Pastor Luo, who was leading an online evangelism seminar at the time.
The Zoom meeting, called “Proclaim Jesus Gospel Gathering,” had been going on for some time when the Wuhan police broke in and arrested Pastor Luo.
“[He] was taken away by the police because he posted the gospel online,” wrote the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, a Chinese Christian organization.
Although he was interrogated and pressured to reveal information about the Chinese church movement, Pastor Luo refused to betray his brothers and sisters.
“I also told them a few times in all seriousness, I will only live for Christ, I will not argue on other matters,” the pastor said. “However, I will never change [my persistence] about evangelism.”
He also reminded the police of the ways in which Chinese Christians had served their communities during China’s most difficult moments during the pandemic.
Luo and his church have been among those handing out free protective masks and gospel tracts to those on the streets of Wuhan, and many of their neighbors can testify to the Christians’ love.
Pastor Luo’s reminder left the policemen speechless, and they soon released him.
Luo’s arrest came on the heels of repeated house church raids and anti-Christian violence throughout China.
The pandemic hasn’t slowed down the Communist government’s fierce persecution of Christianity. Instead, Chinese officials have cracked down even harder on house churches and families of worshipers.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), a persecution watchdog organization, the Chinese government was only mildly deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic and has resumed its cycle of raids and arrests with almost no break.
“In recent weeks, we have seen an increased number of church demolitions and cross removals on state-sanctioned churches across China, as house church gatherings continue to face interruption and harassment,” said Gina Goh, ICC’s manager for Southeast Asia.
Goh spoke of the numerous raids that have occurred throughout the past several months.
For example, police raided a house church in China’s Fujian province in early May. They called the gathering “illegal,” using excessive force that injured several worshipers.
The police stated that all churches operating outside of the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement are banned.
When church members protested the raid and pulled out their cell phones to record the event, police shoved them to the ground and yelled, “Stop filming!”
The church’s pastor, Titus Yu, was arrested and accused of “violating several articles of the religious regulations.”
“It is deplorable that the local authorities not only conducted [these raids] without proper procedure but deployed excessive use of force against church members and bystanders,” Goh continued.
“ICC calls on the international community and the U.S. government to condemn China’s constant human rights abuses.”
Reverend Jonathan Liu, founder of the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, added that Christian pastors throughout China are viewed as threats because “the government requires everyone to be loyal to…Xi Jinping.”
“Since Xi Jinping came to power, the Chinese government’s persecution of Christianity has been the norm, and it has been a very serious suppression of influential churches,” Liu added.
“They have [fabricated] various crimes to persecute churches and pastors.”
Undoubtedly, the Chinese Communist government hopes that the global coronavirus pandemic will hide their actions from the media’s view.
But as long as Christians like Pastor Luo, Reverend Liu, and others continue to speak out and hold the government accountable, change is possible.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in China as they stand up to the government’s senseless and violent persecution.