In an article that you can read here, we learn that China’s president, Xi Jinping – or “Xi”, has been cracking down on religion in China and “has particular animosity against Christianity in particular”.
This has been seen in the various news stories recently coming out of China concerning persecution of Christians. First, there was the dynamiting of a church around the turn of the year (see here).
More recently, there is this story about the government no longer allowing Bibles to be sold online in China. This happened just days after the government announced that in the upcoming years it wanted to retranslate the Bible – presumably in its own image by making it more socialism-friendly.
As we travel to churches here in the states, many have asked us about these developments and what they might mean for how we are able to do ministry when we arrive back in China.
While we don’t know exactly what the coming years in China hold for believers there, we can be sure of the Christ’s words in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Our Lord will build His church, and nothing – not dynamite, not Xi, not communism, not even the very gates of hell – shall prevail against it.
This is great news! As we go to China to plant churches, we are investing in a building project that cannot be thwarted!
And Christ is building His church! Just over the last couple of months, our teammates in China have had seen multiple professions of faith in their church plant with many baptisms as well! Please read their April 2018 Prayer Letter for the details.
Despite the persecution that seems to be at hand, believers in China are still seeing God at work to change lives. They aren’t living in fear of persecution but instead are faithfully pressing on to get the gospel out. Read here about the latest plan to print John and Romans in-country. They are keepin’ on keepin’ on!
I am reminded of Daniel, who when learning that a law was passed in Persia that made it illegal for him to pray, went into his house, opened his windows, and prayed “as he did aforetime” (see Daniel 6:10). He just kept on keepin’ on doing what he had always done. He just kept on worshipping and obeying the Lord. He didn’t let fear of being thrown into a lion’s den get to him.
So, you may ask, are we having second thoughts about starting churches in China? No! Taking our cue from Daniel and the believers currently over there, we have every intention of keepin’ on keepin’ on with our deputation and plans to start churches, trusting that even if we get thrown in a tiger’s den, we serve a God who is known to send angels to stop mouths, and He has promised to be with us until the end of the world (Matt. 28:20).