New law in China restricts religious freedom on massive scale
As of March 2022, China has passed a new law banning any religious content from being shared online without the approval of the communist government.
Other religious laws make it illegal to:
- Have a religious gathering with more than 10 people
- Rent property for the purpose of a Christian gathering without facing astronomical fines
- Purchase Bibles online (the Chinese government is believed to be working on a new and CCP-approved version of the Bible)
In very real time, we are seeing the physical aggression of an authoritarian regime playing out on the world stage since Russia’s attack on Ukraine. We are thankful for all of our partners who have given towards relief efforts for families fleeing danger.
Although authoritarian oppression looks different from country to country, the Chinese church is faced with life in an environment marked by the authoritarian leadership of a communist government.
Around 120 million Chinese Christians must daily navigate the complexities and challenges of living in a communist nation restricted to the Gospel.
In this case, they are forced to push back against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that is specifically targeting and choking out freedom of religion.
For example, as of March 2022, all religious information is banned from being shared through any online platform in China. One of our directors from China has shared that people are even concerned about sharing an encouraging Bible verse on social media.
This is just a continuation of a number of sweeping religious restrictions the CCP has passed over the last four years, making China the most restricted environment it has been for Christians and other religious minorities to live in since the 1960s.
Using systems and deception, the Chinese government is effectively removing religion from the fabric of society. What is left is a country marked mainly by an atheistic ideology.
What is the significance of this?
As spiritual beings, we receive our food – our nutrients – from the Word of God. Each day, we can feast on the very thing that gives “life to those who find it” (Proverbs 4:22).
Whether it is opening the Bible in our laps or on our phones, or scrolling through social media and seeing a reel of a sermon clip, a verse of the day, or a devotional thought, we have the privilege of immediate access.
Now, imagine if your access to this was cut off.
If censorship, restrictions, and surveillance undermined your connection to the Source of Life.
If your Bible app was shut down.
If your text messages were monitored for religious content.
If you couldn’t find Biblical teaching online (unless approved by the Chinese Communist Party).
The harsh reality of what is happening in China lends itself to a church that is in need of receiving the spiritual food they need to survive.
Feed My Sheep
Our ABC training is 336 lessons of systematic and comprehensive Bible teaching, beginning with foundational Bible principles and progressing to topics on leadership and church planting.
When Jesus appeared to Peter after his resurrection, Jesus asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep” ( John 21:17).
As we continue to look for the best ways to support the Chinese church, providing access to strong Bible teaching as nourishment for their spirit is how you and I can fulfill Jesus’ commandment to, “Feed my sheep.”
This is where ABC comes in!
ABC is World Compassion’s primary Bible Teaching and Leadership Training tool, developed specifically for the Chinese church. The curriculum has over 336 lessons of systematic and comprehensive Bible teaching, starting with the foundations of our faith and building into topics like evangelism, marriage, family, church planting, and leadership.
Each student receives their own set of six ABC books for self-study and participation in weekly group study sessions.
The size of the Chinese church, combined with continued growth and the additional limitation on religious gatherings, continues to fuel the need for more trained leaders and Bible teaching.
One Chinese leader told us, “Having enough preachers is our long-term problem in China.”
We have received feedback that some new leaders will literally preach on Sundays out of the ABC curriculum they are studying.
When you equip a Chinese believer with ABC materials, you are not only “feeding His sheep,” but you are giving them sustainable ways to feed themselves and others!
You can get spiritual food – teaching and understanding – to the Chinese church!
While ABC is also available digitally, the nature of the new restrictions in China may compromise this approach.
This is why printed and other audio formats of the ABC materials are in such high demand! They can be distributed securely, and their digital footprint is nonexistent.
We already have over 1,400 new ABC students gearing up to begin their book studies any day now. Our goal is to reach another 1,600 new students before the year is over!
When you give, you are putting Bible school into the hands of a Chinese believer, complete with messages and devotionals they can share in the context of a house church.
But more than that, each book set provides a Chinese believer with food for their spirit and soul – helping them to live and grow spiritually and learn how to feed themselves when access to anything else is limited.
It costs $50 (£38) to start one ABC student in China. This price includes the underground printing of all six books and delivery to each student.
How many of our Chinese brothers and sisters can you help spiritually “feed” with the ABC discipleship materials today?
$50 (£38) gives one student access, $150 (£114) reaches 3 students or a gift of $500 (£380) empowers 10 students.
You can also help meet this need for 1,600 additional students by setting up recurring giving.
The Olympics may have come to an end, but the oppression faced by Chinese believers is more real and active than it has been in decades.
Let’s remember to lift up the Chinese church in prayer – that the Holy Spirit would give them the strength and courage to persevere when circumstances feel isolating and bleak.
Thank you for being on mission with us to teach, equip, and encourage those living in nations restricted to the Gospel.
YES, I WANT TO HELP CHINESE BELIEVERS GROW SPIRITUALLY!
It costs $50 (£38) to start one ABC student in China.
World Compassion Terry Law Ministries d/b/a World Compassion and its affiliates are not a part of nor associated with Compassion International. Your gift will be used for these projects and many other outreaches of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries.