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Many church leaders do not want to speak openly about the Shouwang Church. They support their brothers and sisters. However, privately, they express that Shouwang has pushed the edge of the envelope.

This makes people wonder. What is the truth about persecution in China? Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer. Yes, there are still Christians in prison. Were thousands arrested for their faith last year? Depends on how you define arrests. Take the Shouwang Church. Perhaps every week their members keep worshipping in public places and people are taken in to the police station. They are released within hours, or in the worst case, a few days.

The government wants to control the church. That has not changed. The chosen method is not the same. Severe persecution has been traded for cooperation with Christians, even with the house churches. As long as they do not get involved in politics, they will be left alone. Christians should be allowed to organize themselves and be politically active. No doubt. But one simply has to admit that the situation in China has improved over the years, despite recent reports to the contrary.

Do the Han Chinese Christians still need help? Yes. They need to learn how to function as a church in a freer country. They also need to learn to develop their own materials, rather than receiving everything for free from overseas. And last, but not least, they should not forget about persecuted Christians among the Chinese minorities and abroad. The Chinese church stood strong under severe persecution. Let it stand strong now, too.

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