Date: May 23, 2020
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. (Psalm 139:8)
The words above, written by King David, have been a source of comfort to many for centuries. They are true for you, reading this right now, and they are true for all the people of China, such as Gao Zhisheng.
It’s now over 1,000 days since Gao disappeared on 13 August 2017. He is believed to be held in some form of detention. The Chinese Christian human rights lawyer has been disappeared, arrested and tortured multiple times since 2006, and no one has heard from him since his most recent disappearance.
This week, join us to pray for Gao and the religious minorities across China he spoke up for. Already marginalised, harassed and intimidated, their situation has been made even more precarious by the coronavirus pandemic. Because it’s difficult to get information on so many of the cases we work on – including people such as Gao, who are being held off the grid – they could get Covid-19 and we’d never know.
There are also serious concerns about the estimated one to three million Uyghur Muslims held in camps in the Xinjiang region, in extremely unsanitary conditions and where social distancing would be impossible.
‘Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith.’ – Pastor Wang Yi, Early Rain Church
Last week we told you about Early Rain Church, which has been experiencing government surveillance, intimidation and harassment for years. On Easter Sunday at least six church leaders were taken from their homes and their electricity cut off, after government officials learned they were joining a Zoom call for online church. These are just some of the ways the pandemic is making life harder for China’s religious minorities – pray for them this week.
In summary, please pray:
- Pray that Gao will swiftly be released and will be able to rejoin his family and continue his vital work speaking up against injustice.
- Ask God to protect the members of Early Rain Church from government harassment, so that they will be free to practise their faith in peace.
- Pray for protection for the millions held in camps in the Xinjiang region, and that the camps would be closed and the people released.