Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is from an e-mail I received a couple days ago.


A senior church leader in China has sent an open letter to the president urging him to do more to protect China’s hard-pressed church.

Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, has taken the bold step of publishing his letter to Hu Jintao, which catalogues two decades of persecution. Pastor Zhang writes that he has been harassed, jailed, beaten, even sent to a mental hospital for his faith, since he turned to Christ 21 years ago.

It’s never been easy but things have been particularly bad since the Communist Party’s National Congress in October, he writes. On the day of the congress, officials raided the school and orphanage which he runs at Yanjiao village in Hebei, threatening staff and children. Pastor Zhang was told to shut both premises – and his church.

He remains defiant. At the end of his letter, he writes: ‘At the time I began to write this open letter to you, I had already fully prepared to die because of this. However, I believe both my life and your heart are in the hands of God Jehovah.’

Sadly, Pastor Zhang’s story is all too common. RI sources report that 40 China Gospel Fellowship leaders were detained in Fanhu, Hunan, last month. Twenty-one were released within a week but 19 others are being held at the county detention centre.

And in Guangdong province the Christian owners of a firm called Guangzhou Enoch, who were put under house arrest last month (7x7, November 13, 2007), have been fined heavily and had their business licence revoked for alleged ‘illegal religious activities’. Daniel and Eliza Ng’s firm had a strong Christian ethos. They now face bankruptcy. Three senior employees have been arrested for ‘illegal business management’.

Ask God to protect Pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his projects from further aggression. Pray that President Hu Jintao will be moved by his letter. Pray that God will provide for Daniel and Eliza Ng and their staff.

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