China: Officials ban Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Schools Source: www.chinaaid.org Date: August 10, 2017 Have you ever had the joy of participating in a Vacation Bible School during the summer or being part of an engaging Sunday School? According to recent orders from religious departments in several of China’s provinces, people may now be punished for holding such activities for children during the summer months. Citing arbitrary concerns, such as hot weather, they banned churches from hosting summer camps and Sunday Schools geared towards children. Such measures expand on an already existing regulation forbidding Chinese children from attending religious activities until they turn 18, further restricting their right to religious freedom. “The government is trying to control ideology,” a Chinese Christian surnamed Zhang said. “During [Chinese Presidents] Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao’s time, the government was tolerant toward preaching and missionary work. After Xi Jinping came into power, the government’s grip on religion has strengthened. Wanting their children to grow up in the way of the Lord, many Christian parents bravely continue to take them to church, even though doing so could have dire consequences. Some Christians, such as kindergarten director Cheng Jie (pictured above with her husband and two sons), have served prison sentences for teaching their children Christian morals. Please join us in praying for these families as they attempt to raise a Godly new generation in the face of great hostility.