Chinese Christians live their lives at the intersection of restriction and risk.
Daily, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attempts to squelch the Christian faith by imposing extreme restrictions on every aspect of believers’ lives. These restrictions pose a great risk if rejected. It’s a life of choices – but not freedom.
Heightened and sophisticated surveillance has made even daily life a gauntlet for believers. But in spite of risks and restrictions, an estimated 135 million people in China choose to follow Jesus anyway. Choose to evangelize anyway. Choose to gather anyway.
Just recently, news broke of the latest attempt to oppress religious minorities. A new app, called “Smart Religion,” requires citizens of China’s Henan province to register for approval with the government before attending a church service.
According to Bob Fu of China Aid, “The application asks for each person’s name, address, contact information, date of birth, occupation, and government ID number.
The area in which the CCP is choosing to do these experiments is strategic. Henan has been called the “Jerusalem of China” due to its historic revival among Chinese house churches. Most of the major house church networks in China were started there.”
These sweeping restrictions often impact the work we do here at World Compassion, causing us to adjust our approach or find different ways to facilitate discipleship, teaching, and leadership training.
It goes without saying that they also deeply impact the church in China. The current state of affairs has demanded increased secrecy amongst house church gatherings and Christian discipleship efforts.
One way the Chinese Church maintains greater secrecy is by decreasing the size of church gatherings. This means more church leaders are needed to effectively decentralize the Chinese Church without losing the quality of the teaching that these Christians are receiving.
World Compassion helps equip the Chinese church for this through our ABC Discipleship and China Mission School (CMS) curriculums. We currently have over 4,000 students studying and just over 10,000 who have graduated!
Over 14,000 students across China have benefited from over 280 lessons of systematic and comprehensive Bible teaching found in ABC, leading believers through the basics of
our faith all the way through leadership, marriage, and church planting training!
We get the materials to the students using books and audio devices. With restrictions prohibiting Chinese Christians from accessing religious content online, these methods have been essential yet challenging.
Finding printers who are willing to produce the content inside the country and partners who are willing to distribute the materials to enrolled students adds a different layer of complexity to the program. More importantly, it adds great risk to our Chinese team and churches who we serve.
Historically, World Compassion has hosted a couple of leadership conferences every year for pastors in mainland China. These gatherings are an important part of our leadership training strategy and the expansion of our ABC and CMS training programs.
Now, with the extreme restrictions in China, it’s just not wise to try to do these in mainland China at this time.
As a result, this November, we will be flying Chinese leaders out of the country to a safe location, allowing all of us to interact with one another more freely – something they simply cannot do in their own country.
Coming off the pandemic and with the increased restrictions in China, we haven’t been shoulder to shoulder with these leaders in over three years. Even our staff in China has a hard time connecting with ABC leadership because of the tight restrictions and surveillance.
Not only is there an incredible need to strengthen the bonds we already have, but now is the time to expand our reach! The boldness of Christians
has led to a great spiritual curiosity and continued increase in the size of the Chinese church.
It’s only through relationships that we are able to help grow the impact and reach of our ABC Discipleship and CMS missions training programs inside the country. This is how we serve the persecuted Church in China.
You can help us meet two pressing + timely needs for the chinese underground church right now.
1. Sponsor a Chinese leader to attend our leadership conference in November.
You can make it possible for a Chinese church leader to be a part of this pivotal time of learning, encouragement, and strategizing.
As you can imagine, having to now host these conferences in a different country has significantly increased the cost. To support a Chinese pastor to attend this conference costs $1,980 (£1,558). This helps cover a portion of their airfare, hotel, food, and conference cost, as well as translators, their expenses, and even a portion of our team’s cost to travel to Asia.
We’ll be flying 50 leaders out of the country to a safe location. To make this trip possible for all 50 of our core leaders, this will cost roughly $99,000 (£77,900). We believe that, through your generosity, the Lord will make a way for each one of them to attend.
2. Help start 1,000 new ABC students in the coming weeks.
Your giving can sponsor the future pastors, teachers, and leaders of the Church in China. More than anything, the underground church needs leaders who are equipped with sound doctrine and the practical skills of church planting.
You can help provide our ABC Bible and Leadership teaching in China for just $50 (£41). For $100 (£82) you can help train two leaders for ministry, or for $250 (£205) you can help train five. How many of China’s future pastors and teachers can you be a part of equipping right now?
As you and I continue to feel the impact of cultural pushback against Christian beliefs and values, imagine for a moment what it would be like to live as a believer in China right now.
Yes! I want to bless and equip
the Chinese Church in this time!
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.
GIVE BY TEXT
If you’re not already,
would you consider partnering with us monthly?
This helps us so much when making plans and budgeting projects around the world.
Example: $25 (£20)/month would reach 3 people with the Gospel in Iran. $100 (£82)/month would train two leaders in China or Myanmar through our ABC Bible Training Material.