Persecution Update, April 2015: China

Although the suffering of Christians in China has lessened somewhat in recent years, 2014 saw an upturn in the number of persecution incidents. Chinese President Xi is promoting a renewed emphasis on Chinese culture and nationalism, which includes showcasing Buddhism and Confucianism and portraying Christianity as a “foreign” religion. In Henan province last July, Pastor Zhang Shaojie, pastor of a government church, was given a prison sentence of 12 years plus a $16,000 fine for the crime of “disrupting public order.” This is the harshest sentence given since the 1970s. Authorities in other parts of China have torn down crosses and demolished more than 400 church buildings. Last April in Sanjiang, Zhejiang province officials demolished a church building of a congregation of over 2000. More than 40 churches in Wenzhou province, known as “China’s Jerusalem,” have also been demolished. Please intercede for God’s strength and grace for Pastor Zhang and other believers in China.