Date: August 23, 2020
China (International Christian Concern) – A county in China’s Henan province has announced on August 20 that it will conduct an intensive campaign to clamp down illegal religious activities for a month.
According to China Aid, the notice sent out by the Xinyang City Gushi County Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau noted that from August 20 to September 20, it will conduct a month-long investigation to crack down on illegal religious activities.
The Bureau provided a hotline for people to report and submit relevant videos, recordings, or pictures. They can submit these materials to local ethnic and religious affairs bureaus or sub-district offices. A reward of 500 CNY (72 USD) will be given. Their identities will be protected as well.
While it did not spell out house church in the notice, according to China’s 2018 Revised Regulations on Religious Affairs, those religious gatherings that are not from the state-approved churches are considered “illegal.”
Henan is one of the provinces in China that has the highest number of Christians. A rough estimate reports around 5 to 6 million Christians. Many house churches still refuse to join the state-sanctioned Three-Self Church. For this, the persecution against them has been intensified in the last 2 years.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for protection for Christians practicing their faith in China. Pray for greater religious freedom in China. Pray for the authorities to show grace to Christians and other religious groups.