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China's Christians felt a noticeable rise in persecution in 2012 as the Communist government began the first of a three-phase plan to eradicate unregistered house churches, a new report says.

Incidents of persecution of Christians rose by about ...

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Displaying 1–11 of 11 comments

Jim Ricker

February 22, 2013  8:07pm

@Ron Rogers, Now, I'm not sure who you worship and why but this much I do know: we are commanded to rejoice in our persecutions. Easier said than done? Absolutely! I cry for my brothers and sisters knowing it is painful for them but I also am not going to call my King a liar and question whether or not I should pray and rejoice at the same time - as Jesus commanded. Have you not been taught the Scriptures and the need to accept all the words of a king and not just the ones we like?

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Jim Ricker

February 22, 2013  8:05pm

@Ron Rogers (continued) Matthew 10 continued: be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you." Matthew 5: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.... 2 Corinthians 12: And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. continued

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Jim Ricker

February 22, 2013  8:01pm

@ Ron Rogers, It is far easier for me to say and do that for the Chinese brethren than it would be for me to be thankful to God for it happening to me. Of course, that changes nothing now does it? Am I to sin because it is easier for me to sin than to follow Christ and His commands? John 16: “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. Matthew 10: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues....But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will..

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audrey ruth

February 22, 2013  5:34pm

I agree with much of what Pop Seal said. And when one stops to consider that the USA is in such huge debt to China, and the Lord says, "The borrower is servant to the lender", that sheds new perspective on how close we really are to severe persecution coming here. I do not thank God for the suffering our brothers and sisters in China are experiencing, although I know His grace is sufficient for them as it is for those in Muslim-controlled lands (and elsewhere, such as North Korea) who are also experiencing rejection and persecution. We do need to pray regularly for the persecuted church, and remember that our own future is nebulous. God knows the end from the beginning, so we can entrust our lives into His hands with confidence that He will never leave us or forsake us.

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JOANN PITTMAN

February 21, 2013  10:56pm

The report about the supposed plan to "eradicate" the house churches is not credible. Would the government prefer the house churches to ally themselves with the Three-Self associations and register accordingly? Absolutely. But the government has neither the will nor the resources to force the issue. They need to find a new way of giving the house churches legal status. There is some evidence that some in the government get that. A good source of information on the complex relationship between house churches and the state is the Beijing-based Pacific Institute for Social Sciences. You can read analyses of the situation by mainland Chinese scholars. Here is a link to 12 articles about house churches in China. http://www.pacilution.com/english/ShowClass2.asp?ClassID=94

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JOANN PITTMAN

February 21, 2013  10:26pm

It says persecution incidents affected 4000+ people. If that number is in fact correct, it is, of course too many. But let's look at it another way. Assume that the conservative estimate for number of Christians in China is 50 million (the government acknowledges 23 million). This report says that out of 50 million Christians in China, 4000+ experienced some level of persecution or harassment. That's an extremely small number compared to the number of Christians. The article and the way the stats are reported are misleading because they do not include that larger context -- thus giving readers the impression that persecution in China is more widespread and serious than the stats actually show. Again, if these stats are true (or even if there are more incidents than they are counting), what they actually show is that persecution is NOT the normal experience for Christians in China. Please see Brent Fulton's excellent response at ChinaSource: http://www.chsource.org/en/blog/item/266-is

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Sean Spearman

February 21, 2013  10:02pm

The "persecuted" is coming to the USA like China......the greater works must be done....church as usual isn't working....2013 is shaping up to be something else....God encounters on our lands in biblical proportions has already started and many will be caught off guard....Outreach and tent ministry is expanding reaching the lost...Keep interceding esp. for Detroit during this 40 days lent fast...~rev.sean

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ron rogers

February 20, 2013  10:06pm

Mr. Ricker, it seems easy to thank GOD for the active persecution of our Chinese brothers and sisters. Are you willing to pray for and live through the same kind of persecution in North America? Are you and your family willing to become the 'best and brightest' through the pain of persecution? The church in North America (USA especially) needs the 'Chinese cleansing'. I fear that the church in NA will never be relevant again until we experience this cleansing. I pray for those extremities to assault the Body of Christ in USA. btw ... let's all stop whining about how Christians are being harrassed and 'persecuted' in the US. We've never seen persecution. 'When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained ...' (rev. 6.9)

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Gaylan Mathiesen

February 19, 2013  4:33pm

While persecution of the church is something we must be informed and prayerfully concerned about, this article paints a very pessimistic picture of an alleged eradication of all house churches in China. I question whether the situation is really that bleak. Other highly respected and credible Christian observers of China report a different situation; many are even optimistic. While it is certainly true that persecution of churches and believers in China is a very tragic and daily reality for many, let me recommend to your readers a less alarmist resource: ChinaSource. Headed by Brent Fulton (PhD in Chinese politics, he previously served as managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College, ), ChinaSource was founded as a cooperative effort of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies, Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association (today serving together as Missio Nexus), World Evangelical Fellowship and the Billy Graham Center.

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Pop Seal

February 18, 2013  7:26pm

I've never lived under a real persecution. "Against the Tide", the story of Watchman Nee by Angus Kenear (spl) is a wonderful account of a Christianity foreign to the softness of American religion (pun intended). I'll be corrected by them that know better, but I think the revival we often pray for will be preceeded by our own 'developing' persecution. It will involve slander like we see in media, approval of laws contradictory Biblical ethics like we are receiving from SCOTUS, and a rise in effeminate ministers (pushing the homosexual agenda). Next, I'm waiting for the federal government to issue some kind of edict forcing churches to accept unbelievers in the name of political correctness and their tax status hanging in the balance for non compliance. Home churches were our beginning and will likely be enjoyed again.

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Jim Ricker

February 18, 2013  7:20pm

Although we must never stop praying for our persecuted brethren in China (and other persecution nations), we must also thank God for the persecution because His Church ALWAYS grows best and brightest under the harshest conditions. May we learn much from our persecuted brothers and sisters.

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