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VIDEO Plight of Hong Kong and Its Christians – Armed Leaders Disarm Saints

John Stonestreet and Kasey Leander

The idea that China would respect the agreement and Hong Kong’s liberties might have been tenuous, but it wasn’t completely irrational. In terms of economic prosperity and a tolerance for democratic norms, some even hoped Beijing’s own system would evolve to mirror Hong Kong’s.  

That hasn’t happened. In fact, as The Atlantic’s Timothy McLaughlin wrote in April, “[T]hese hopes have now all but been extinguished.”  

In 2014, China announced that, though Hong Kong voters could choose their chief executive, candidates first had to be screened by a Beijing committee. The response in Hong Kong was explosive. Over 1.2 million people took to the streets in peaceful protest, occupying the central commercial district and famously using yellow umbrellas to deflect tear gas.  

In 2019, protests were renewed over a proposed extradition bill that would grant authorities the ability to transport anyone accused of a crime, including political dissidents, to mainland China. Again, the backlash was massive. In a city of 7.5 million people, an estimated 2 million took to the streets, many pushing children in strollers or elderly in wheelchairs. Even when Chief Executive Carrie Lam eventually scrapped the extradition bill, it did little to stop the momentum.  

But COVID-19 did. And, like all authoritarian regimes, China did not let a good crisis go to waste. As the city locked down, key protesters were arrested and momentum stalled. China bypassed Hong Kong’s government and implemented a draconian national security bill of its own.  

Now, the city’s future seems especially dire. While some embers of protest still smolder, two of Hong Kong’s last British judges resigned this April. By some estimates, nearly 50% of European firms are planning to leave the city. Though an economic blow like that should make Beijing think twice about Hong Kong’s fate, economics has never been the primary driver behind the actions of the Chinese Communist Party or Xi Jinping.  

Christian concern goes beyond our commitment to human rights, or the tragedy of watching such a vibrant, beautiful place fall under oppression. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have long played a dramatic part in Hong Kong’s non-violent resistance. From the beginning, in fact, Hong Kong’s Christians have formed the backbone of its pro-democracy movement.  

A powerful example is retired pastor Chu Yiu-Ming who, along with eight others, was sentenced to prison for his role in the 2014 and 2019 protests. While his sentence was lightened due to his age, Pastor Chu was fully ready to bear the cost of following Christ and articulate why. Chu’s speech, in which he described why he was compelled to act, should be required reading for all of us: 

I am a Christian minister committed to the service of God, 

and yet, at this very moment, my heart tells me that with this defendant’s dock, I have found the most honorable pulpit of my ministerial career. The valley of the shadow of death leads to spiritual heights. … 

To those who are naked or hungry, the Christian minister has no business responding with greetings of Peace, Peace. I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about their physical needs. What good are such greetings? [A]sk the Bible. … 

This is our conviction based on the faith we hold: Every person is created according to God’s image. 

As such, every person should be respected and safeguarded. We strive for democracy, because democracy strives for freedom, equality and universal love. Human rights [are] a God-given gift, never to be arbitrarily taken away by any political regime. … 

We have opted for a peaceful, non-violent way. Although the power of injustice before us is immense and those holding power capricious, we are not afraid, nor will we run away. … 

We have no regrets, 

We hold no grudges, 

No anger,  

No grievances.  

We do not give up.  

In the words of Jesus, “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; The Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” (Matthew 5:10) 

Please pray for Hong Kong, for Pastor Chu, and for the other courageous Christians .

https://breakpoint.org/the-plight-of-hong-kong-and-its-christians/?


Mario Murillo Special Message: [ARMED LEADERS DISARM SAINTS]


VIDEO China’s Communist Government Is Rewriting the Bible and Calling Jesus a ‘Sinner.’ But That’s Not All… – Dangers of openly worshiping Jesus in China

By Billy Hallowell Feb 17, 2022

The Chinese Communist Party, China’s ruling regime, has been on a mission to rewrite the Bible through a communist lens. This quest has reportedly resulted in shocking distortions of Scripture and Gospel truth.

Todd Nettleton, spokesman for The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a persecution watchdog serving Christians across the globe, told Faithwire about the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to reimagine the Bible.

“This is a project that the Chinese Communist Party announced in 2019. At the time, they said it would be about a 10-year process … to release a new translation of the Bible,” he said, noting it would include Confucian and Buddhist principles, among others. “This new translation … would really support the Communist Party.”

Watch Nettleton discuss the shocking Bible translation as well as broader religious freedom issues raging in China:

A shocking example of the Bible re-write

VOM recently shared a reimagined version of the Bible’s revered story centered on Jesus’ love and corrective compassion for a woman caught in adultery.

“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced plans to update the Bible to ‘keep pace with the times.’ The revisions will include adding ‘core socialist values’ and removing passages that do not reflect communist beliefs,” a VOM Facebook post read. “In a textbook for high school students released in September 2020, the authors included a passage from John 8, as revised in their new version.”

Before we explore the revised communist version, let’s look at John 8 as it stands in the genuine and authentic Bible.

As the famous forgiveness story goes, the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery before them and challenged Jesus, proclaiming, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

The Bible notes that these Jewish leaders were “using this question as a trap” to accuse Jesus. Still, Christ started writing on the ground with his finger (it’s a mystery what he was writing) and then uttered some transformational words (verse 7): “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

After the people — clearly shaken by Jesus’ words — walked away, Christ and the woman were left standing together, and their exchange went as follows (NIV):

Christ: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

Woman: “No one, sir.”

Christ: “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The Chinese Communist Party, though, reportedly has a different vision for how this interaction unfolded — an anti-biblical, faux account that flies in the face of scriptural truth.

In the Chinese government’s new version — purportedly observed in a textbook published in September 2020 — the crowd disperses, but then the text states, “When everyone went out, Jesus stoned the woman himself, and said, ‘I am also a sinner.'”

Why is China re-writing the Bible?

The transformed language directly aims at Jesus’ divinity, something Nettleton said is quite shocking.

“In one sense, it’s just like so arrogant to think, ‘I’m going to rewrite the story of Jesus’… but then you think about denying the deity of Christ,” he said. “If Jesus is a sinner, then he’s not God.”

For anyone wondering why the Chinese Communist Party would take such troubling steps to try and diminish the Gospel, Nettleton said it has everything to do with control.

“The issue for the Chinese Communist Party is control. It is always about control,” he said. “And they see the … Christian message as something that would take control away from the communist party.”

Rather than citizens waking up and pledging allegiance to a loving God and pondering ways to serve Jesus, Nettleton said the government’s goal is for Chinese nationals to wake up every day and say, “How can I serve the party today? How can I be a good communist today?”

A much broader persecution problem

While bombastic and troubling, the rewrite of the Bible is just part of the Chinese government’s ongoing attempts to crack down on the Christian faith. The nation’s Three-Self Patriotic Movement is a Protestant denomination controlled by and registered with the Chinese Communist Party.

“The officially sanctioned Protestant church of China has always tried to kind of co-opt Christianity and use it for communist purposes,” Nettleton said. “But they even in recent years have taken that a step further.”

He said images of Jesus have been taken down inside churches and have, in some cases, been replaced with pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Christian hymns, too, have been replaced with communist party anthems.

The new Bible translation, it seems, is just another step toward anti-biblical anarchy within the Chinese Communist Party ranks.

“This new socialist translation of the Bible is just another step for the Chinese Communist Party as they try to control the church, and really co-opt Christianity as a means of controlling the people and helping them serve the Party’s interests,” Nettleton affirmed.

The new Bible version becomes even more troubling when one considers it could become the only officially available version of scripture in the strictly-controlled, government-run church system.

Listen to the latest episode of the Faithwire podcast 👇

“The only way you can legally get a Bible in China is at a registered church and if those are mostly in the big cities. [and] if you’re in a rural area, you have almost no access to Bibles,” he said.

Limited access to Bibles has always been a problem. Still, now the issue is compounded by a socialist-laced version of Scripture that purportedly doubts Christ’s divinity and conjures up inaccurate details.

That’s why Nettleton’s organization continues to help get Bibles to Chinese citizens.

“That’s one of the reasons why Voice of the Martyrs and other groups are are so committed to delivering Bibles into China — even smuggling Bibles into China — because it’s not available,” he said. “One of the things I hope about this new translation is that it will backfire, and people will wonder, ‘Why was it so important for the Chinese government to retranslate the Bible. Why was it so important for them to change this?’”

Nettleton hopes Chinese citizens compare the new version to the old and see through the changes. Let’s continue to pray for the Chinese people amid increasing cultural and theological control at the hands of the communist regime.

Dangers of openly worshiping Jesus in China: One man’s harrowing story

By Billy Hallowell, Op-ed Contributor

A man stands in a room in a house church in Puyang, in China’s central Henan province on August 13, 2018. | GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

What happens when a person decides to worship Jesus outside of China’s state-controlled churches?

“If you want to worship in a church that is not vetted by the state, you have to worship in an illegal, underground church,” Christian Post Assistant Editor Leah Klett explained.

Klett explores the issues surrounding Chinese government control and the Rev. Fr. Jonathan Liu’s harrowing story — as well as his warning for Christians.

Listen to this powerful episode at the link below:

https://player.edifi.app/episodes/What-Happens-In-China-When-Someone-Worships-Jesus-Outside-State-Controlled-Churches-One-Man-S-Harrowing-Story/4709689?ts=1645738020288

The Christian Post Podcast” takes you behind the headlines of the biggest faith, culture, and political headlines of the week. In 15 minutes or less, Christian Post staff writers and editors will help you navigate and understand what’s driving each story, the issues at play — and why it all matters.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/dangers-of-openly-worshiping-jesus-in-china.html

‘… The world said “never again” but it is still happening’ China’s Uighur genocide, drawing global ire- Chinese Concentration Camp Survivor on NBA

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser | November 10, 2021 

NBA Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter has been one of the loudest voices speaking against the Uighur genocide in China. He worked with Chinese dissident artist Badiucao to create custom shoes with slogans like “End Slave Labor Now” and “Stop Genocide,” which Kanter has been wearing on the court during his Celtics games. This, in turn, has led to China’s alleged blocking of Celtics games from being aired in the country. Kanter has also led rallies in front of the United States Capitol alongside Uighur, Tibetan, and Hong Kong activists, urging lawmakers to take action to end the genocide of the Uighur people.

“We need action. Not just words. We have to make human rights a priority in both U.S. and foreign policies,” Kanter said at a rally. “Only then can we help stop the Uighur genocide.”

Additionally, Kanter has been criticizing Nike, the NBA, and even superstars LeBron James and Michael Jordan, for cozying up to China and turning a blind eye to its atrocities. He has challenged them to visit the concentration camps in Xinjiang with him to see the kind of treatment the Uighur people are suffering.

“To the owner of @Nike, Phil Knight How about I book plane tickets for us and let’s fly to China together,” he tweeted. “We can try to visit these SLAVE labor camps and you can see it with your own eyes. @KingJames @Jumpman23 you guys are welcome to come too.”

Though Kanter has been trying to make a difference, many of the world’s superpowers have been unwilling to do anything to put an end to the Uighur genocide, or to even speak against the human rights abuses other Chinese minority groups are suffering.

READ: Uighur tribunal reveals new details about newborn babies murdered at birth

FORCED ORGAN HARVESTING CONTINUES

recent conference in Brussels discussed forced organ harvesting, to which members of the Falun Gong religion have been subjected in China. KaYan Wong, spokesperson for Falun Gong in Holland, put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“Falun Gong has been and is, for many, more popular than communism in China and the current regime is jealous of this,” he said. “The crackdown and persecution of the Falun Gong started as far back as 1979 and since then it has been illegal to practice Falum Gong in China. The aim is to demonize Falun Gong and treat it as a cult. People in China are told that it is very dangerous. After the Holocaust the world said ‘never again’ but it is still happening in Communist China. Everyone knows that the CCP is evil so this event today is important and can make a real difference.”

Reports claim that these organs are then sold on the black market, with an alleged profit of $1 billion each year for Beijing. In addition to Falun Gong practitioners, other groups reportedly subjected to forced organ harvesting are Uighurs, Christians, Muslims, and Tibetans.

Hamid Sabi, counsel for the international China Tribunal, added that they have thousands of pages of reports proving this is taking place. “The findings of the Tribunal are amazing and it concluded that the practice of forced organ harvest has been going on for many years in China. Thousands of transplants take place every year. All these have been documented,” he said. “China itself says it has got 2.8 organs for every deceased registered donor. The Tribunal said this has been going on for 20 years in China and that Falun Gong members in particular are used for this practice. But China has apologists for what it does who do not come out and condemn China. This has allowed China to escape public condemnation.”

HUNTING THE UIGHURS ABROAD

Many Uighurs have tried to escape China, fleeing to other countries for what they hope will be safety. But China has a far reach, as some have unfortunately found out first hand. In the United Kingdom, for example, Uighurs are being targeted and harassed by Chinese authorities, according to Policing Minister Kit Malthouse. He claimed that Uighurs are being harassed in “an effort to intimidate them into silence, force them to return to China, or co-opt them into providing information on other Uyghurs.”

Meanwhile, Muslim countries have been deporting Uighurs back to China, a horrifying notion for those who likely thought they had escaped to safety. One woman fled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with her family, one for UAE officials to hand her husband over to China with no warning or explanation.

“If my husband [has committed] any crime, why they don’t tell me? Why China don’t tell me?” she asked CNN. “I don’t know if my husband is still alive or not,” she said. “I have no … news about him from China, from UAE. Both [are] silent. They are silent, completely silence. Why you don’t obey your own court paper? You say you are Muslim country. And I never believed that since this happened, I never believe you.”

For Uighurs who have escaped to countries that won’t deport them, China has responded by imprisoning their families left behind as a means of intimidating the people who escaped. “As retaliation against me because I made that public speech, as a tool to silence me, they abducted my sister,” Rushan Abbas, a Uighur American activist, told the New York Times. “They have my sister as a hostage right now.” Her sister, Gulshan Abbas, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

READ: Survivors of Uighur genocide describe forced abortion, imprisonment, and persecution

ANOTHER GENOCIDE BEING IGNORED

When the Nazis began conducting a genocide against the Jewish people, much of the world remained silent. Now, the United States Holocaust Museum has published a report warning that the same thing may be happening again, and that the world needs to take action. The report, titled “To Make Us Slowly Disappear,” was published by the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, which vows that it “seeks to do for victims of genocide today what was not done for the Jews of Europe.”

The report noted that the Uighurs are not merely being forced to assimilate into Chinese culture, as the CCP often claims, but this has all the hallmarks of a true genocide. “This includes, in particular, a deepening assault on Uyghur female reproductive capacity through forced sterilization and forced intrauterine device (IUD) placement as well as the separation of the sexes through mass detention and forcible transfer,” the report noted, adding that the sterilization policies raise “legitimate questions about the existence of the intent to biologically destroy the group, in whole or in substantial part.”

An additional whistleblower report from CNN featured statements from a Chinese ex-detective, who said Uighurs as young as 14 are tortured mercilessly until they confess. Methods include hangings, sexual violence, electrocutions, waterboarding, and beatings. And for Uighurs who have survived, there is one goal for the CCP: to make them extinct.

Gulzara Muhammed is a Uighur now living in Turkey, though both her husband and elderly father were arrested and imprisoned in Xinjiang. “My family were under surveillance by Chinese authorities just because my husband was an Imam and my father who lives with us had begun teaching the Quran to Uyghur children. We would get constant disturbances by Chinese police asking about our activities which intensified over a period of months, even though we were simply following our faith,” she said. Muhammed was urged to leave by her brother, but the CCP would not allow her to leave unless she got a “medical check” first — which turned out to be a ploy to sterilize her.

At the hospital, she was told she had a cyst that needed to be removed. I remember being given an injection and I became unconscious. When I woke up I was in pain and was told that the procedure is done but now I will not be able to have any more children,” she said. “They lied to me. They tricked me. They have sterilised me without my consent and one day I hope they (the Chinese government) will own up to their misdeeds as it is them who orders hospitals to do this. They are trying to stop the Uyghur population from growing and this is the only way they can do it – by targeting us, Uyghur women.”

Exclusive – Chinese Concentration Camp Survivor on NBA: ‘They Don’t Want to Think About Humanity

By FRANCES MARTEL 12 Nov 2021

Mihrigul Tursun, a survivor of China’s concentration camp system, urged the National Basketball Association (NBA) in remarks to Breitbart News on Friday to condemn China’s human rights abuses.

Tursun also warned star player LeBron James, one of China’s biggest business partners in the league, to distance himself from the regime “because money cannot do everything.”

Tursun was participating in a march Friday organized by the East Turkistan Government in Exile in Washington, DC, the purpose of which was to demand that the administration of President Joe Biden act to protect the Uyghur people from the ongoing genocide they are enduring at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Tursun is an ethnic Uyghur Muslim from East Turkistan, an occupied western region China refers to as “Xinjiang,” and has testified to being forced into the Chinese concentration camp system three times between 2015 and 2018.

Tursun’s testimonies have provided some of the most detailed information the outside world has on the atrocities Chinese agents commit against Uyghurs and other ethnic minority Muslims in the country. She has said Chinese police arrested her after, with infant triplets, she returned home to her parents following studying abroad in Egypt. Among the many atrocities she endured, she has said, is the killing of one of her triplets and extreme personal torture to herself, including electrocution, beatings, drugging, and sleep deprivation.

The Chinese government has responded to Tursun’s claims by mocking them, declaring in state media that Chinese people “laughed” at her ordeal and scurrilously accusing her of carrying sexually transmitted diseases.

Tursun is one of the estimated three million people the regime of communist dictator Xi Jinping has locked in concentration camps.

The Communist Party claims the concentration camps are “vocational training centers” for uneducated Uyghurs.

The NBA’s business ties with China are estimated to be worth billions of dollars; individual NBA players separately make millions through sponsorship deals with Chinese companies. The NBA’s relationship with China is currently in the news because one player, Boston Celtics star Enes Kanter, launched a campaign last month to hold China accountable for human rights abuses, referring to Xi as a “brutal dictator” and specifically condemning the Uyghur genocide.

In contrast, James – who has cultivated significant financial interests in China – has criticized others for condemning China’s human rights atrocities.

“I also don’t think every issue should be everybody’s problem as well,” James said in 2019 when asked about human rights abuses in China.

Tursun lamented to Breitbart News that many major brands, such as the NBA and Nike, “will start keeping silent because they don’t want to lose this good business, good relationship. They don’t want to think about humanity.”

“They don’t want to think about what happened [to] a lot of people, like genocide. They do not think about this – they just think about their own business,” Tursun said.

Tursun noted that Kanter’s advocacy has been noticed and celebrated in the Uyghur community.

“Enes Kanter, he talks about Uyghur [issues]. We are very appreciative. We hope, like this person, a lot of people get behind [the] Uyghur [cause and] help us stop genocide,” Tursun said.

Tursun urged those who have remained silent to consider her story.

“I am 30 years old now. I am with my twins here. My husband, my father, my sister, my brother, all my family members – I don’t have contact. I don’t know where they are, whether they are alive or dead,” she said. “I don’t have any information about them.”

“My two kids are disabled. The Chinese government did that to them,” she continued. “I don’t know if, [for] the rest of my life, I can have babies or not. … I am taking mental medicine for day and night [sic] because [of] panic attack[s], because [of] worry from this torture.”

Asked about James’s stance of not feeling compelled to advocate against China, Tursun asked the NBA player to reconsider.

“If you are me and if you have my situation for your family … if you have my situation in your country, what would you do? You need to tell the world, ‘Help me help my family,’” Tursun said. “But now, it’s not you. It’s come to me. It’s come to my people. I am doing this. You are human – do you want to think about your own money, your own business, or you want to think about humanity?”

“I ask him [James] to listen, to wake up because money cannot do everything,” Tursun said.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/11/12/chinese-concentration-camp-survivor-on-nba-they-dont-want-to-think-about-humanity/



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VIDEO Mom who survived Mao’s China calls critical race theory America’s Cultural Revolution and why

Xi Van Fleet

Xi Van Fleet delivered the speech in front of the Loudoun County School BoardLoudoun County School Board

A Virginia mom who grew up under Chairman Mao’s brutal Communist regime has angrily ripped critical race theory as “the American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.”

“Critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism — it should have no place in our schools,” Xi Van Fleet said to cheers and applause at a Tuesday meeting of the progressive Loudoun County School Board.

“You are now teaching, training our children, to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history,” she told the meeting of the district already bitterly divided for pushing the policy that critics accuse of itself being racist.

“Growing up in Mao’s China, all of this seems very familiar,” insisted the mom, who finally fled China when she was 26.

“The Communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people. The only difference is they used class instead of race,” she said.

The mom — whose son graduated from Loudoun High School in 2015 — compared the current division in the US to her experience growing up under Mao Zedong, one of the most brutal rulers in history until his death in 1979.

She recalled seeing “students and teachers turn against each other,” and school names being changed “to be politically correct” as they were “taught to denounce our heritage.”

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong brutally ruled China until his death in 1979.

“The Red Guards destroyed anything that is not Communist — statues, books and anything else,” she said.

“We were also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassador program and the bias reporting system,” she said of systems that other parents have sued over.

Van Fleet told Fox News on Wednesday that she initially planned to say more but was forced to cut her speech to a minute.

“To me, and to a lot of Chinese, it is heartbreaking that we escaped communism and now we experience communism here,” she told Fox of her strong feelings against the progressive agenda.

Ian Prior, the father of two students attending Loudoun schools, said Van Fleet’s remarks “should serve as a stark warning.”

“I think for a while now, school systems have really put this stuff in the schools right under our very noses, and we just weren’t aware,” he told Fox, saying parents were “trusting the school system to do the job.”

“It took a pandemic and all the information that parents could see with this distance learning to understand exactly what was going on.”

A group of male and female coal miners in 1968 recite in Li Se Yuan mine some paragraphs of Mao Zedong's "Little Red Book" as they celebrate Mao's "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution".
A group of male and female coal miners in 1968 recite in Li Se Yuan mine some paragraphs of Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book” as they celebrate Mao’s “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.”

The school board in a wealthy district has become a hotbed of controversy for numerous progressive teaching policies.

This week, a judge ordered the reinstatement of a Christian teacher who had been suspended for refusing to recognize “a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa” and use transgender students’ preferred pronouns.

https://nypost.com/2021/06/10/mom-who-survived-maos-china-blasts-critical-race-theory/



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https://news.ntd.com/virginia-mom-why-i-compared-america-today-to-chinas-cultural-revolution_662309.html

VIDEO Authorities Arrest 5 Chinese Christians for Attending Religious Conference Over a Year Ago

08-01-2021Andrea Morris

chinachristians_hdv.jpg

Five Christians with Xuncheng Reformed Church in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province Chinese were arrested by authorities last month because they attended the “KL2020 Gospel and Culture” conference more than one year ago.

Preacher An Yankui said a church member named Zhang Ligong was detained on July 13 and remained in police custody for 15 days. On the day of his release, two more church members were arrested when they arrived to pick up Zhang, according to International Christian Concern (ICC).

Then police arrested three more church members from their homes.

All five of the Christians, along with thousands of other participants, flew to Malaysia in January 2020 to hear from prominent speakers such as Pastor Tim Keller and Pastor D.A. Carson.

Pastor An sent out an urgent prayer request on Facebook last week.

“Please give urgent attention to the prayer of the church brothers and sisters. Ask the Lord not to forsake his children and continue to show grace to his church on the cross path.”

ICC reports that police have been targeting Xuncheng Church more frequently in recent months. One of the members, Zhao Weikai, was arrested on May 17 and again on July 7 for “allegedly possessing items that promote terrorism and extremism.” He could face up to three years in prison.

Gina Goh, ICC’s regional manager for Southeast Asia, said, “Since the Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs took effect in February 2018, the Chinese government has added more laws seeking to curb religious activities that are not state-sanctioned. Beijing is paranoid about Chinese Christians’ interaction with Christians overseas.

“As a result, they are penalizing Christians to deter them from ‘receiving foreign influence.’ It is a shame that the Chinese government constantly manipulates laws to violate the religious freedom of its citizens,” she added.

China is ranked 17th on Open Doors 2021 World Watch List where Christians suffer the most persecution.

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2021/august/authorities-arrest-5-chinese-christians-for-attending-religious-conference-over-a-year-ago

What’s the purpose of the church?

Exclusive: Joseph Farah unpacks the lessons for today from the 1st century

By Joseph Farah April 13, 2021

Have you ever considered the purpose of church?

I’ve been thinking about this subject, because we have a model. Our model is the first century church, which witnessed the biggest explosion not just in numbers of believers, but in power.

One thing we learn from that experience is that the church grows in numbers and effectiveness – not to mention to the glory of God – in times of persecution. Like these.

But let’s start at the beginning. What did Jesus teach His church to do?

I think it’s worth noting that His first instruction to His disciples, who numbered no more than a few hundred or thousand, was not to do anything except keep it together, be a comfort to each other and teach others.

They were ready to go restore the Kingdom to Israel. In Acts 1, He told them to forget that for a while. That would have to wait for Him to come back.

What was the first instruction from Jesus?

He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father in the form of the Holy Spirit.

It wouldn’t take long. Jesus evidently knew that – because once the power fell upon them, this was their next and only assignment: “And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

They would have to figure the rest out for themselves, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and all Jesus taught them.

It wasn’t the only time Jesus had given them this instruction. He also did so in Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

It would seem to me we already learned two important lessons about the role of the church:

  • Make sure you are working under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
  • Then, as Frank Sinatra would say, start spreading the news – the Good News, that is.

There are all kinds of debates going on in the American church today about “church planting,” “church growth strategies” and “how we must seek a new approach today with Christianity in decline.”

But I wonder if we’re going about this in an entirely wrong way.

For starters, if the goal is to reach the uttermost parts of the earth – not to mention our own neighborhoods – are we really waiting on the Holy Spirit? And are we really focused on evangelism?

I’ve heard that American-style “evangelism” largely consists of attracting people away from other churches. Here the American church is like one big revolving door. Some churches grow, others do not. Some wither away, others grow stronger and bigger. Yet neither of those ends has much bearing on what Jesus commanded us to do.

So, what did the first century church do?

Exactly what Jesus said to do.

They waited, got empowered and they turned the world upside down. Was that just for then?

I wonder. What I do know is that their church didn’t look like ours.

They met together. They prayed together. They ate together. They worshiped together. They comforted each other. They discipled. They edified. They fellowshipped. They glorified God. And they recited or read the Scriptures.

In the American church, we’re watching the clock. People can’t wait to get out of there.

I recently read that one large mega-church built a multi-lane overpass to ensure that they could get everyone out of the 35,000-attendee parking lot within 30 minutes of the close of service.

In how many churches have you experienced evangelism training or expeditions?

Isn’t that the urgent mission of the church? Why don’t we do it? Do you know I was 21 years old before anyone ever evangelized me – in America? Am I that unusual? What are we waiting for? Who are we going to recruit to do it, if not us?

That’s why the light is going out in America – because the Christian culture, which was healthy and vibrant in America when it was founded, has been ceded over to the world.

Meanwhile, what about elsewhere? Where is the church exploding? Where it is persecuted. You know that. That’s where the Holy Spirit is. That’s where miracles are taking place today – in China, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

There have been some notable revivals in the U.S. over the years – but not one for some time.

Another thing we learn from the first century church is that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Does that still work?

I know it does for me. That doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Unless you believe everyone is going to be saved, nothing is going to work for everyone.

But I find it deeply disturbing that some pastors believe we should stop emphasizing the Word. Some say we should drop the Old Testament pretty much altogether. They say we should tell stories and attribute them to people rather than the Word of God.

Do we no longer believe in the Word of God? Are we ashamed of it? Are we ashamed of doing exactly what Jesus told us to do?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have one.

Do you think there is a more important book than the Bible anywhere on earth?

Do you think getting people to crack it open would generally bring them closer to the Lord – maybe even get them saved?

Do you think God has changed His mind about the way He spoke the world into existence and revealed His plan to His children?

Is there really anything new under the sun?

Or, is it time for the church to start following instructions? Has the salt lost its savor? Or are we ready to be the salt and the light in the world again?

By the way, that’s one of the things the church is supposed to be.

Matthew 5:13-16: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

That’s right. The church is supposed to glorify our Father in heaven.

We’re supposed to be Jesus’ heavenly bride. We’re His children if we are doing His will – yes, even in this age of grace. We all fall short of the mark, but the mark goes beyond salvation, does it not? Does He not take pleasure in us when we are obedient to His call, holy and surrender all to Him?

I don’t consider myself an expert on the church. But I do know how I came to know and love Jesus – and love Him more every day.

I would like everyone to understand that – not wishing that anyone would perish.

And that’s why I took several years to research and write “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament.” I wanted people to see what I see when I look at the Bible – the most miraculous book in the whole world, one that has stayed the test of time, one that is fully integrated, singular in purpose, abounding in wisdom, cohesive and without contradictions, one supernatural message of repentance, revival, redemption and restoration from Genesis to Revelation.

It’s all about the Word. It will always be about the Word – whether its written on our hearts, etched in our minds or seared in our souls.

Jesus told us all to be evangelists. And that’s what I am doing right now.

I want to share “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” with you because I think it might open up the Scriptures to you, with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, bringing you not only the keys of everlasting life, but a place of honor in His Kingdom.

Amen? Amen.

Note: “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” by Joseph Farah is available in both hardcover and e-book versions.

VIDEO Full Documentary: ‘Up We Soar’ Brings to Life a True Story of Courage

"Up We Soar." (NTD)

“Up We Soar.” (NTD)

BY EPOCH TIMES STAFF December 20, 2020

The Epoch Times and its sister media NTD will premiere the documentary film “Up We Soar” this weekend.

The film follows the true story of seven-year-old Fuyao and her parents in China.

Fuyao’s parents are victims of Communist China’s persecution against Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. A spiritual practice rooted in Buddhist tradition, Falun Gong is followed by millions and targeted by China’s communist regime. Since July 1999, Falun Gong books have been banned and burned. The regime’s propaganda machine slanders the practice. Hundreds of thousands of followers have been arrested. Many are tortured to death.

Amid the persecution, Fuyao’s father, who was working as a news anchor, was forced to do forced labor. Her mother, a teacher, was banned from her job. Fuyao and her mother were placed under house arrest. Fuyao’s mother had to leave her to avoid being arrested. She was later captured and thrown into prison to serve a seven-year term for distributing Falun Gong flyers and DVDs.

Despite the hardship Fuyao faced, she became a key source of inspiration for her scared mother, who was surrounded by murderers, drug dealers, and brutal prison guards. As her mom gradually regained her inner strength, she nurtured and safeguarded Fuyao during her turbulent teenage years, using extraordinary means.

The animated documentary film, produced by New Realm Studios and NTD Television, is one of a series of documentaries produced by NTD’s Legends Unfolding.

Through animation and live interviews, the film brings to life a true story of courage, love, and perseverance in the darkest of times.

Watch Here:

Premiered on Website on Dec. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET:

NTD website:
https://www.ntd.com

The Epoch Times website:
https://www.theepochtimes.com

NTD Twitter: https://twitter.com/news_ntd

Premiered on YouTube on Dec. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET:

NTD YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/NTDTV

The Epoch Times YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/epochtimesdigital

Premiered on Facebook on Dec. 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET:

NTD: https://www.facebook.com/NTDTelevision/

The Epoch Times: https://www.facebook.com/epochtimes/

https://www.theepochtimes.com/programming-alert-documentary-film-up-we-soar-brings-to-life-a-true-story-of-courage_3623576.html

Dozens of Chinese Authorities Interrupt Bible Study, Detain Pastor, 5 Members

China would like this instituted in the USA

By Jessica Lea -January 4, 2021

taiyuan

The pastor of a house church in Taiyuan city in China and five female church members were arrested after authorities raided a Bible study on Dec. 30. While the women were released the next day, Xuncheng Church pastor An Yankui was sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention.

“Please pray for [Pastor An] and his church as they take up their crosses for Christ,” said a post on the Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) Facebook page. Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), whose members have faced extensive persecution themselves, planted Xuncheng Church in 2008 in the city of Taiyuan in Shanxi province.

Pastor of Taiyuan Church Arrested a Second Time 

According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Pastor An and several Xuncheng Church members were holding a Bible study Wednesday in the pastor’s home when nearly 40 officials interrupted them. In addition to arresting five women and the pastor, authorities seized the church’s choir robes and books. They did not arrest Pastor An’s wife, Yao Conya, so that she could be free to look after her children. Authorities held the women for about a day and released them around midnight on New Year’s Eve. Pastor An, however, will be detained for 15 days.

This is not the first time that officials have targeted Xuncheng Church or Pastor An Yankui. The pastor and his wife were among seven people arrested on Nov. 15 when Chinese authorities raided a Sunday morning service at Xuncheng Church. You can see footage of that raid below.

VIDEO Chinese Govt Repurposes Church Buildings to Promote Propaganda

By Jessica Lea -November 13, 2020

chinese christian church

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is selling and repurposing church buildings—in addition to destroying them—as part of its efforts to prevent believers from meeting. Instead of being houses of worship, some Chinese Christian church buildings are now being used to promote the values of the Communist Party. 

“People of faith outnumber Communist Party members, and the Party is not winning people’s hearts,” said a village official, according to human rights magazine Bitter Winter. Explaining why three state-approved churches in Suqian’s Siyang county were destroyed, the official said, “Churches are eradicated to ensure that there are more CCP members than believers.” 

State-approved churches are known as “Three-Self” churches, and Suqian is a prefecture-level city in China’s Jiangsu province. Last year, officials shut down Protestant congregations in more than 70 buildings in Suqian and in Lianyungang, another prefecture-level city in Jiangsu.

‘Eradicating’ Chinese Christian Church Buildings

As ChurchLeaders reported earlier this year, not even the government-approved Three-Self Church is protected from the CCP’s interference. In October 2019, officials destroyed a state-approved church building in Anhui province—while the members were worshipping. 

Hundreds of crosses have been removed this year from Three-Self Churches in Anhui. On April 10, the CCP destroyed a Three-Self Church building in the province of Jiangxi. 

“The government is eradicating churches,” said the director of a Three-Self church in Lianyungang’s Bailu town. At an August meeting, town officials informed Three-Self Church directors that they must sell or rent their empty church buildings. One, Chenzhuang Church, had already been sold on July 26. Another was sold in August and another rented on Aug. 25. 

One Chinese Christian church building in Xiayi county in Henan province was used as a clothing factory for two months. Then, on Oct. 21, officials ordered the building to be destroyed and for a clinic to be built in its place. 

Another building (this one formerly used by a house church) was repurposed as a “Civilization Practice Station for a New Era.” These stations are part of a propaganda effort by the CCP to ensure that citizens adhere to party ideology.  

Authorities repurposed a Three-Self church building in Suqian’s Shuyang county by turning it into a cultural center that memorializes heroes of the Red Army. According to one official, “The church will now be used to teach the young generation about China’s revolutionary spirit.” On June 5, workers put up a sign there reading “Huaihai District’s Military and Political Auditorium.” This replaced the church’s cross and its original sign that said, “God loves the world.”  

The reality is that no church in China is safe from being commandeered or destroyed by the government. Last year, authorities demolished a True Jesus Church after members and church leaders tried to stop the building from being closed and repurposed. In fact, the destruction of church buildings at the hands of Chinese authorities has been occurring for some time now, as has the removal of crosses from Protestant and Catholic churches. 

And Christianity is by no means the only faith the CCP is targeting. The Chinese government has an official sinicization campaign, the alleged purpose of which is to eliminate the “western” influence of Christianity and the Bible in order to make them more “Chinese.” But even faiths that are “eastern” are not safe from the Chinese Communist Party, which wants to be the ultimate priority in people’s lives.

https://churchleaders.com/news/385390-chinese-christian-church-propaganda.html

VIDEO Pompeo Calls on Catholic Church to Be Tough on China Like John Paul II with Soviets — ‘A Powerful Force for Good in the World’

By Trent Baker

In a Friday interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sounded off on the arrest of Hong Kong dissident and devout Roman Catholic Jimmy Lai.

Host Hugh Hewitt asked Pompeo if the United States will speak up for Lai, who he noted is “being oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party,” and others like him.

After highlighting how corrupt and oppressive the Chinese Communist Party has been, Pompeo called upon the Catholic Church’s leadership to be as tough on China as Pope John Paul II was on the Soviet Union because the Church is a “powerful force for good in the world.”

“I think the whole world can see that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t speak the truth, right? It made this promise to the people of Hong Kong that they’d have 50 years where they’d operate under a system that was different. That’s the deal they shook hand with, with the Brits and became an international agreement,” outlined Pompeo. “Instead, they lied. They’ve got a national security law that puts every citizen all across the world at risk, not even just those inside of Hong Kong, if they speak in a way that’s inconsistent with the Chinese Communist Party that deems appropriate or useful. The world can see this. And the world can see the people of Hong Kong now being treated as if they’re just another communist city inside of China. And I think you see the response that not only the people of the world are reacting to, but what the leaders across the world are doing to protect themselves and their people from the challenge that the Chinese Communist Party presents to them.”

He added, “I traveled to the Vatican now a week ago, a week and a half ago to speak with Vatican leadership on this very set of issues. The Holy See has the capacity to exert enormous influence. Their moral witness matters an awful lot. We need them on the world stage, talking about the horrific activities taking place inside of China today, the enormous religious oppression, the sinicization of the Bible, the tearing down of religious buildings, not just Christian buildings, Catholic buildings, but every religion. The oppression of the Muslims is of horrific stature, the worst we’ve seen since the 1930s, what’s going on in Xinjiang today. And I’ve called upon the Catholic Church and the Catholic leadership in the Vatican to stand up for these people. The Church has historically done that. John Paul II was an important part of turning the tide and creating freedom in Europe and the destruction of the Soviet Union and the freedom of people that were oppressed by the Soviet Union. We need that same moral witness today. They’re a powerful force for good in the world, and we need them talking about this in a way that is serious and thoughtful and consistent with the beliefs I know they hold so dearly.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2020/10/09/pompeo-calls-on-catholic-church-to-be-tough-on-china-like-john-paul-ii-with-soviets-a-powerful-force-for-good-in-the-world/

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