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Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:17

USA Mid-term Elections November 6th 2018

Please join in praying that the crucial U.S. elections next week will bring to power those who have strong Christian values and “bring down the wicked” as the psalmist prayed. Lawless, leftist, socialist groups want to reshape the country into a totalitarian state to become part of a globalist New World Order that diminishes national sovereignty and human freedoms. Surveys reveal that about half of the Millennial generation, who are largely ignorant of history and political science, now believe in socialism even though that form of government has never resulted in any good for the nations that have tried it. Venezuela is a recent example of a once prosperous land that has been brought down to poverty and despotism by that delusion.

In this battle between Americanism and socialism, pray that the American people, especially the Christians, large numbers of which do not even vote, will not succumb to such deception, and rise up to vote for their Christian values. May the Leftist/socialist forces, often financially supported by George Soros (called “the most wicked man in the world”), be decisively defeated at the polls and may America’s traditional values that come from the U.S. Constitution and the Bible be reaffirmed and upheld for the blessing of the coming generations.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:14

Israel Needs Rain!

 “A PRAYER FOR RAIN…THE NEED IS BECOMING SERIOUS.

 

On Shmini-Atzzeret—the last day of the fall festival of Sukkot (1 October this year), it is traditional to pray for rain. For the “former rains”, which in Israel begin in the fall.  The “latter rains” fall roughly from Passover in the spring, until around middle May.  Afterwards, there is usually no measurable rain in Israel for five months—we are dependent upon the former and latter rains. 

We have often mentioned in these prayer updates the need of rain in Israel.  but during the past five months acuteness of this need has become more evident.  Israel recently completed her fifth year of an officially-declared drought.  On August 26th, an article in The Times of Israel was entitled, “Israel enters 6th year of worst-in-a-century drought, girds for even worse.”   The article points out how “Many of Israel’s lakes, riverbeds and aquifers are at unprecedented 100-year lows, with the Sea of Galilee [the nation’s largest natural water source] dangerously close to its “black line,” the level below the intake pipes of the water pumps that send the lake’s water to nearby towns.”  Many of the springs in the north, whose streams supply much of the waters to the Sea of Galilee, have slowed to a trickle.  In May, the Water Authority launched a public awareness campaign to make Israelis aware of the shortage and to encourage them to conserve their water usage.  

But with the construction in recent years of five large desalinization plants (which now effectively provide drinking water from the Mediterranean for the country’s most populated regions along the coast), Israelis have tended to put away concern about water.  After all, Israel invented “drip irrigation” (virtually all her produce is now economically watered that way); 86% of her wastewater is purified and used for agriculture.  And now redeeming water from the Mediterranean Sea seems to be taking care of our needs.  Except that it isn’t—even with the two new plants which are being built, there will not be enough for crops necessary to feed this population.  And if the Sea of Galilee continues to sink, it will mean an ecological disaster there, down the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.  Israel is planning to pump desalinated water into the lake—but that is really a stop-gap measure. And the de-salinized water is lacking in many nutrients, and is even being presently studied in Israel as a possible contributor to heart disease.  

Israel—and our neighbors—are desperately in need of rain water.  The scientists are pointing towards Global Warming as being the most probable cause of the drought.  Yet, the Scriptures often connect the coming or withholding of rains in Israel with the favor and mercy of her God (the Creator of the “globe” which is warming!), and with the humility of His people in acknowledging awareness of their need of that mercy:  

 PLEASE PRAY:

  • That God will in mercy send abundant rains on His Covenant Land this year…a land which was meant from the beginning to, “drink water from the rain from heaven, a land for which the LORD God cares; the eyes of the LORD God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year”  (Deuteronomy 11:11-12).
  • That Israel will awaken to her need for water—and an awareness that her God is the source of that water—as He was for our Fathers in ancient times,  when they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them around the desert…and that rock was Messiah! I Corinthians 10:4).
  • That believers in the Land will ourselves take this need seriously, will humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from evil ways—cry out to Him for this need,  that He may hear from Heaven and heal our land.

Martin and Norma Sarvis

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:13

Children accused of witchcraft

 ‘The man asked him, “What is your name?” … “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel”.’ — Genesis 32:27–28a

 “Jacob was one of many people recorded in the Bible as being given a new name by God. Jacob was the second–born of twins, who were said to have ‘jostled’ during their mother’s pregnancy. Jacob was named as such as he was born holding the heel of his brother, who was born first. Commentators have associated this name, figuratively speaking, with deception by this act of trying to come first. In Jacob’s life, he continued to seek the importance of the first–born status and fully achieved this when he deceitfully received his father’s blessing instead of his older brother. But that is not his lasting inheritance: God changes Jacob’s name to Israel when, in later life, Jacob shows his dependence is on God. The names we give can reflect our appreciation of a person, but God gives names that reveal his heart for a person.

“The thing that causes me pain very much is when my mum's younger sister started calling me a witch. Often, when I sleep I wet the bed at night, or I speak to myself, and they started calling me a witch.” Naomi told her pastor of the accusations and she says that “the pastor came to our house. He made my parents sit down, and told them not to call me a witch.” Naomi, 15 years old, D.R.Congo

THE NATIONS WILL SEE YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL KINGS YOUR GLORY. YOU WILL BE CALLED BY A NEW NAME THAT THE MOUTH OF THE LORD WILL BESTOW. — ISAIAH 62:2

Things to thank God for…

  • Give thanks that God has created all of us in his image. None are excluded from receiving his love and grace.
  • God knows us intimately and names us with purpose. Even when we have been known by our past actions and behaviours, we are not bound to that reputation throughout our lives.

Please Pray

  • Many accusations of witchcraft against children can start from or be influenced by a family member or a community or church leader. Please pray that families will cease calling their children ‘witches’. Please pray that, before this name is given to a child, people will consider the devastating and awful consequences of such a label.
  • Please pray for reconciliation in families and acceptance of children who are living with wider family members.
  • Please pray for all children who are living on the streets because of witchcraft accusations. Pray for their protection today and healing from the trauma and rejection they have experienced. Pray for a welcoming home, a place of safety and the opportunity to begin to hope.

https://www.stop-cwa.org/posts/prayer-campaign-12

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:12

Europe: Human Prayer Chain - Germany

We are building a Human Prayer Chain for Germany and the European Continent

Hand in Hand praying for our country / our countries!

Come and join us in prayer on 09. November 2018 at 11am and 3pm. MEZ / CET at 100 locations along the German border!

The time is NOW!, there is a need to act! We have seen a dramatic change in Germany and in other European countries in the last few years. Prayer is urgent, because we all need God's encounter in our country and on this former Christian continent!

Our aim is to build teams of German believers and believers from other countries as well. Denominations do not matter, only living faith in our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Two times Christians were praying in unity for Germany and Europe along the German border, in October 2015 and during Pentecost 2016. We have been obedient according to the call of God and we have another opportunity this year. That's why we are planning to do it a third time to pray and proclaim intensely and in unity along the border to our European neighbours. 

Friday 9 November 2018 is a very historic day for Germany. We will come together at 11am. and 3pm. MEZ / CET again to pray at exactly 100 locations (you will find them under "locations" on this page). We will go to the German border again - the common border with nine European nations - to plead to God the Father in the name of HIS Son Jesus Christ for HIS encounter for Germany and Europe. 

Be one of the living stones, Jesus Christ can use to rebuild the spiritual wall around Germany and the other European countries. Pray with us for God's protection and a spiritual breakthrough. We need HIS encounter NOW! It is time for the body of Christ to arise and to take responsibility for our nations! 

We call the believers of The Netherlands, Denmark, Great-Britain, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, France, Russia, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Finland, Sweden, …" Come and join us!" 

Brothers and sisters from other continents, from the USA and Canada or South America and Australia as well as Asia for instance - you are also invited! We will be glad when you join us on those days. If you cannot join us in prayer here in Germany, then please consider supporting financially or / and come together in your church or prayer group just where you are and pray on the same day and the same time with us together. We will be one in the spirit!

We don't want to wait for a better time and there may not be a better time than this. The time is NOW! We are standing up and taking responsibility for Europe. These are OUR countries! 

Many have been working before us. We now step into their foot steps. Let us pray for the Salvation and Future of our countries and our nations!   

IT' S TIME FOR THE REIGN OF GOD.

Your Save Europe Team

Heidi Mund & Save Europe Team

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Webpage: www.SaveEurope.de

The Vision: https://youtu.be/jLVqVCprPR4

What you can do

to support the call for the salvation and rescue of Europe?

  • Forward the video https://youtu.be/jLVqVCprPR4  , the webpage www.SaveEurope.de , the vision and flyers in eight languages to all of your friends. Ask them to do the same and to forward the information about the „Human Prayer Chain - Save Europe 2018“ to all of their friends, so that they will know too.  
  • Everyone, who is a believer in Jesus Christ and also those, who stand for Christian values in Germany and abroad as well are invited to come to the common boarder of Germany with 9 European nations and to pray together with us at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. CET / MEZ for a spiritual breakthrough in Germany and Europe. We urgently need God’s encounter, we need a miracle to save our nations and to rescue the continent. 
  • If you cannot be with us on that day in Europe, please organize prayer, just where you are; on Friday 09 November at the same time together in your church or home group. 
  • Support others, so that they can come to stand with us as „The Human Prayer Chain“ (Bank Account you will find on the webpage www.SaveEurope.de under „Spenden“ 
  • Pray, that our heavenly Father opens the hearts of the people, that we can come together in unity, because He gives His blessings to those who are united.

To find out the time change: https://www.timeanddate.de/uhrzeit/ 

The flyer in English, you will find flyers in 8 languages also under download on the webpage www.SaveEurope.de.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:11

Hindu World 15 Days Prayer Guide

Dear Friend, colleague, Prayer Mobilizer,

I am attaching below the PDF copy of this year’s (second annual) 15 Days Hindu World Prayer Guide (booklet) for your information.

Please consider participating or letting others know about this prayer focus (starts Oct 28). Feel free to pass the PDF on to people who you know or think have an interest in mobilizing and educating the/their church about our world’s Hindu neighbors. 

Please also direct them to 15DaysPrayer.com to read more about it and to order printed or PDF copies of the booklet for themselves or their audience, supporters or ministries.

Thank you,

Paul Filidis

WorldChristian.com
PO Box 9208
Colorado Springs, CO 80932; USA

Awesome new book on prayer and mission by an IPC leader

“Dr. Leslie Keegel’s new book is full of signs and wonders and reads like the book of Acts!”-

John Robb, IPC Chairman

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:10

United Prayer Rising Events

UPRISING Global: Jakarta, Indonesia - January 23-26, 2019 (WYPA)

World Generation

Jakarta, Indonesia, January 23-26, 2019

Please pray for and consider taking part in this world youth prayer assembly in January. Here is a video and details to register. You will want to forward this to younger generation  believers but anyone is welcome.

https://youtu.be/3xrEl4UdsTE 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:09

Pray for Go 2020!

Prayer Points Suggested for GO-2020:

  1. Pray that as the call to GO-2020 goes out, every believer wakes up to fully seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, realizing the time is short. (Rom. 13:11-14; Luke 19:13; Psalm 90:12)
  2. Pray that every follower of Jesus is BEING a disciple who fully follows Jesus in loving God, loving others and making disciples that make disciples. (Acts 1:8; Matt. 22:37; Prov. 11:30; Matt. 28:18-20)
  3. Pray that believers see the hearts of those the Holy Spirit has prepared to hear and that they share in a way that can be understood and responded to. (John 4:36; John 6:44; 2 Tim. 4:2)
  4. Pray for every people group with little gospel witness to be adopted for prayer and outreach then engaged with a Kingdom multiplication strategy, so that there will be no place left without gospel witness in every tongue, tribe and nation. Currently ¼ to 1/3 of the world has little to no gospel witness (Unreached people groups) and 401 people groups over 500,000 in population have less than .1% Christians among them (these represent 88% of the remaining task. (Matt. 9:37-38; 2 Cor. 10:16; 2 Peter 3:9; Rev. 7:9) 
  5. Pray for access to the entire Word of God in every language since at present only 7% of the world’s languages have a full Bible and only 1 in 5 Bible Translation Projects focus on translating the Old Testament. (Matt. 9:37-38; Heb. 4:12; Rom. 10:17-21)

Pray for the Body of Christ to recognize our call to see His Kingdom coming and His will being done (not building our own kingdoms) and that we work together in the unity of the Spirit keeping the bond of peace for His glory among the nations. (Matt. 6:10; Eph. 4:3; Matt. 12:22-26)

“God’s glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.”- John Piper

Everything God does is for his glory, which includes missions. It is humbling to know that God has calledus to partner with Him to ensure that his glory covers the whole earth as the waters cover the sea. Andone way we can achieve this is through prayer. God’s ultimate desire is that “the earth will be filled withthe knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14 NKJV)


For this goal to be achieved, two things must be done. First, we must “Go” to the nations. The more wesend committed men and women to go in the name of the Lord, the more the knowledge of God’s gloryincreases and extends all over the earth. Secondly, we must pray for God to send out the men andresources needed to “Go” to the nations. Prayer must precede the “going” before God’s ultimate goal,which is, to see his glory cover the whole earth will be achieved. Prayer paves the spiritual highway forthe going into the nations.

Prayer is necessary to actualize the goal of missions because in prayer we tap into God’s omnipotencefor wisdom and strength to achieve his purpose on the earth. When we pray for missions, we submitourselves to God who owns the work of missions. As Piper wrote, “Prayer is the essential activity ofwaiting for God — acknowledging our helplessness and His power, calling upon Him for help, seeking Hiscounsel. Since His purpose in the world is to be exalted for His mercy, it is evident why prayer is so oftencommanded by God. Prayer is the antidote for the disease of self-confidence, which opposes God’s goalof getting glory by working for those who wait for Him…God is not looking for people to work for Him,so much as He is looking for people who will let Him work for them. The gospel commands us to give upand hang out a help-wanted sign (this is the basic meaning of prayer). Then the gospel promises thatGod will work for us if we do. He will not surrender the glory of being the Giver.”

THE ROLE OF MAN

Some have asked, does man have a role to play in the extension of the glory of God on the earth? Isn’tGod sovereign? Is he not omnipotent? Does he need the help of a fragile creature like man, to make hisglory known on the earth? The answer to this question is a big “yes”. God needs a person. God hascommitted himself to work with a person in the advancement of his purpose on the earth. Prophet Isaiahaddresses this issue in Isaiah 66:18-20, he said, “I can see what they are doing, and I know what they arethinking. So, I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see my glory. I will perform asign among them. And I will send those who survive to be messengers to the nations—to Tarshish, tothe Libyans and Lydians (who are famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to all the lands beyondthe sea that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. There they will declare my glory to thenations.” (Isaiah 66:18-19 NLT)

Another text that supports the involvement of man in the task of making the glory of God known in thenations is Psalm 72. This Psalm is about the universal reign of an earthly king believed to be Solomon. Itis also believed that this earthly king under reference prefigured Jesus Christ whose glory would coverthe whole earth. The kingly Psalm ends with these words, “This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.”(Psalms 72:20 NLT). But what were the prayers David made for the reign of Solomon? They include hisenduring reign and the spread of his glory. David’s prayers are contained in the whole Psalm, especiallyin verses 17-19, “May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May allnations be blessed through him and bring him praise. Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alonedoes such wonderful things. Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with hisglory. Amen and amen!” (Psalms 72:17-19 NLT)

Thus, from the above two texts, we see that man shares in the responsibility of making the glory of Godknown to the nations. As earlier stated, one means of achieving this is through prayer. David prayed forthe glory of the king to be felt among the nations.

NEED FOR PRAYER

Unfortunately, among all the activities needed to actualize God’s ultimate goal, prayer is the least done.We do not lack in ideas, we do not lack in vision and strategy, we do not lack in mission programs, whatwe lack is a fervent, effective and sustained prayer for missions. Wesley Duewel once said, “The greatestlack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.”

STATISTICS

It is said that there are about 12,000 people groups on earth, some of which have heard the Gospeland developed movements to Christ; others have still not had that opportunity. About 5500 UnreachedPeople Groups still do not have an indigenous movement of believers with numbers and resources toreach their groups (less than 5% Christian). An even needier subset- 4700 “frontier” or least reachedpeople groups are less than 0.1% Christian. Effective prayer is indispensable if we are to complete such a vast task of reaching the remaining unreached peoples with the gospel.

WE MUST BE STRATEGIC IN OUR PRAYERS

To extend God’s glory to the ends of the earth, our prayer must be intense, consistent and sustained.Our prayer must also be strategic. Strategically, we must target the unseen powers that have held swayover the lives in each Unreached People Group.We must strategically target the barriers that inhibit the efforts to reach the remaining unreachedpeoples in our prayers. These barriers include cultural and spiritual strongholds; the physical barriers;

the communication barriers; the geographical barriers; the religious barriers; the economic barriers; andthe political barriers.

Prophet Isaiah reveals what would happen when we intentionally pray to break down these barriers. Hesays the veil that is over the nations would be broken. “And He will destroy on this mountain the surfaceof the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.” (Isaiah 25:7 NKJV)There is no question that the remaining UPG are all locked up behind spiritual barriers that keep themaway from the light of the gospel. Paul, like Isaiah, agrees that these veils or strongholds could bebroken off the minds of people so that they can embrace the light of the gospel. “Casting downarguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thoughtinto captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (II Corinthians 10:5 NKJV). May the Spirit of prayer be pouredout on the Church so that we would be able to complete the remaining task among the UnreachedPeoples of the earth.

Austen C. Ukachi
IPC West African Regional Co-ordinator.
Co-ordinator, Strategic Prayer Network Co-ordinator, MANI

Please pray for the relief effort to help the people of the region of Palu, Sulawesi in Indonesia that was hit by a destructive tsunami caused by a 7.5 earthquake three days ago. Towns are cut off from communication and people are desperate for clean water to drink, food, and other aid. The streets are lined with outdoor, make-shift morgues and the death toll is likely to climb dramatically. The airport has been damaged, making it challenging to get relief to them. It is “an excruciating recovery effort that is just beginning to get underway as the death toll climbs. To date, more than1,000 people have died in the catastrophe, but a local report has described scenes of widespread tragedy, with "bodies everywhere."

Please see this link for more information:

https://abcnews.go.com/International/bodies-34-children-discovered-indonesias-sulawesi-volunteers-dig/story?id=58203430

  • Please pray for Indonesia and the people affected by this disaster during this urgent time of recovery. 
  • Pray especially for the effective coordination and distribution of aid in time to help those still alive. 
  • Pray for God’s comfort for those who mourn the loss of their relatives and friends and for His redemptive working to bring good out of this awful situation.
Wednesday, 03 October 2018 05:35

China’s growing crackdown and persecution

Articles on different aspects of this troubling phenomenon

“Over the past few weeks, the Chinese government has escalated its persecution of Christians by destroying crosses, burning Bibles, confiscating religion materials, and closing churches.

This week the Beijing city authorities banned Zion Church, one of the largest unofficial Protestant “house” churches in the city and confiscated “illegal promotional materials.” The crackdown started in April, after the church rejected requests from authorities to install 24 closed-circuit television cameras in their building.

Bob Fu, president of China Aid and the recipient of ERLC’s Religious Liberty Award in 2007told the Associated Press that the closure of churches in central Henan province and a prominent house church in Beijing in recent weeks represents a “significant escalation” of the crackdown.

“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” said Fu.

Fu also provided the AP with video footage of what appeared to be piles of burning Bibles and forms stating that the signatories had renounced their Christian faith. Fu said that marked the first time since Mao’s 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that Christians had been compelled to make such declarations, under pain of expulsion from school and the loss of welfare benefits.

Chinese law requires Christians to worship only in congregations registered with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, but many millions belong to so-called underground or house churches that defy government restrictions… 

Churches in China that are not part of either the state-sanctioned China Christian Council or the Three-Self Patriotic Movement are considered “house churches.” The term can be misleading, though, since it can refer to any unauthorized church, regardless of size or meeting location. Some “house churches” in China are mega-congregations. The Zion Church in Bejing had 1,500 members.

Freedom of religion is technically guaranteed in the Chinese constitution. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China of 1982 specifies that:

Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.

The constitution protects the right to hold or not hold a religious belief, and protects "normal religious activities," that is, religion groups that submit to state control through the State Administration for Religious Affairs. China has five officially sanctioned religious organizations: the Buddhist Association of China, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Islamic Association of China, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

As Brian C. Stiller, the Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance, says, “The issue isn’t so much freedom of religion as it is freedom of assembly. The government seems not as concerned about what people believe, as they are over people gathering in large groups or by becoming too public.”

https://stream.org/brutal-truth-persecution-christians-china/

In recent months, there have been increasingly disturbing reports about the persecution of Christians in China…There were over 240,000 recorded examples of persecution in China in 2017, up from roughly 48,000 in 2016. This represents a very concerning spike in hostile activity…

Specifically, “By 2020, the Communist Party will attempt to monitor its citizens through a massive surveillance system called China Skynet.

“China’s Skynet combines mobile phone GPS tracking, text message collection, 170 million security cameras, to make sure everyone is harmonious to make sure no one does anything illegal.

“China also controls the media.  There is the state-run media but private networks are censored. So, while China, today, barely resembles the Communist State of the 1950s and 1960s in terms of economic structure, it still retains almost all if the other aspects of Communism.: state control, censorship and mass surveillance.”

The 14-Year-Plan

According to the detailed report sent to me, the government has implemented a three-phase, 14-year plan:

“During the first 2-year phase, 2012-2014, it further eased persecution of the underground church, enticing more of them to surface and be identified.”…

“During the second 2-year phase, 2014-2016, it invited and then pressured the identified underground churches to register and become Three-Self government churches.   

“In the current third, 10-year phase, the gloves have come off as both the remaining underground churches and even Three Self churches are being persecuted using Mao-era brute-force, as well as mass surveillance, artificial intelligence, and big data.”

The Persecution

What, exactly, has been taking place? According to the report:

  • Over 2,000 crosses already have been burned or ripped down from church buildings.
  • Many churches have been demolished.
  • Thousands of pastors already have been arrested, beaten, tortured and/or sentenced to years in prison.
  • By 2020, 600 million CCTV cameras – nearly one for every 2 Chinese citizens – will blanket China. They are being forcibly installed inside church buildings to record 24/7 the entrances, stairwells, offering boxes, and Bible counters to monitor who attends church, buys Bibles, and where those Bibles are taken.
  • The Chinese government’s new “social credit system” has begun to assign social credit scores to its citizens for not loitering, not jaywalking and other compliant behaviors, which eventually will include not attending “illegal” underground churches.
  • Chinese Christians will only be able to purchase the Communism-friendly version of the Bible that the Communist Party is presently translating.
  • In February of 2018, the Chinese Communist Party also drastically increased its penalties and restrictions targeted against Christians. The government will also tighten up control over religious activities in schools, religious postings online, and trips overseas for religious training.
  • Recently, the State Council endorsed the penalties, adding that anybody providing a venue for an “illegal religious event” will face a fine of between 20,000 yuan ($2,900.00 USD) and 200,000 yuan ($29,000.00 USD).

Also, in September of 2017, the Chinese government announced that: “Anyone who organizes an unapproved religious event will be fined 100,000 to 300,000 Yuan ($14,500 USD to $43,500 USD).” And, “Anyone who rents or provides the venue for such an event will be fined 20,000 to 200,000 Yuan ($2,900 to $29,000 USD).”

In addition to this, there are nationwide efforts to exalt the rule of President Xi (this has been reported in the west as well; see here), even in Mao-liketerms. Xi has said that religion must be guided by the party to adapt to socialist society, and with that, the government-run churches have announced plans for the “Sinicization of Christianity.” Specifically, this refers to “bending Christianity to submit to the will of the Chinese Communist Party.”

But what is clear is that millions of our brothers and sisters in that vast and important country are really suffering. Let us pray for them and for their government. And let’s ask our government to address this humanitarian crisis today.This is the very least we can do.”