Date:  December 9, 2023

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

What a stirring declaration! Today we pray that Christians in China will know this same strength and freedom from fear – especially at Christmas.

We also remember the bold declaration made by Pastor Wang Yi, who was unjustly arrested five years ago today. 

He said:

‘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 is still in prison, five years on. He is serving a nine-year sentence on charges of ‘inciting subversion’ and ‘illegal business operations’. But in reality, all he did was peacefully stand up for churches and Christians who were targeted by the Chinese government.

Over 100 members of Pastor Wang’s church were also arrested on 9 December 2018. It was part of a huge crackdown on Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, which continues to this day.

The Chinese authorities may be powerful, but we pray that the people of China may know the hope and joy of Christmas that transcends any earthly power. 

Pray especially:

  • For Pastor Wang Yi and all who are unjustly imprisoned because of their beliefs. Several house church leaders have been prosecuted on unjust ‘fraud’ charges this year, and some Christians have experienced torture whilst in detention.
  • For Early Rain and other churches which are operating under insurmountable pressure. Pray especially for the churchgoers who have been forcibly evicted from their homes this year.
  • For those gathering in secret this Christmas, including in house churches or online. Even meeting online has become more difficult, since the government introduced new measures in March 2022.
  • For students and young people. Some university students have been banned from celebrating Christmas and attending off-campus events. In some cases, students have even been prohibited from sharing about Christmas on social media.