China (MNN) — Tensions build between China and the U.S. over the island of Taiwan. China has increased military drills near the island, and the U.S. military promises to continue operations in the area.
Erik Burklin with China Partner says, “I know many of the pastors we work with in China are concerned, even those in a registered church. President Xi is obviously very strong. [We see him] almost saber-rattling a little bit, saying Taiwan is the “renegade province,” as they call it. And yet, I don’t know if he will actually try to attack Taiwan.”
How do Chinese Christians deal with these tensions? Burklin says they pray for their leaders. “They might not agree with the policies, but they respect the president or the leadership that God has placed over them. Romans 13:1 is one of the verses they use quite a bit.”
“I think in our context, in the West, we don’t interpret that verse quite the same way.”
China Partner works with churches in Hong Kong, another area where Western values often clash with the Chinese Communist Party.
When the British handed Hong Kong to Beijing in 1997, the city was promised 50 years of self-government, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and other rights not granted in the rest of China.
But after only 25 years, many in Hong Kong feel this promise is being broken. Burklin says, “One of the big policies that really caused a reaction was when they made this new law. It says if somebody in Hong Kong breaks the law, they could possibly be prosecuted in Beijing.”
How to pray
Jesus continues to dwell in these places. Burklin says, “We know this from the Cultural Revolution, and even when Mao Zedong took power and expelled all the foreigners and so forth. Jesus stayed behind. He stayed with them, He never left them.”
Ask God to bring peace, give wisdom to the Chinese leadership, and strengthen the churches.
The header photo shows Erik Burkling with China Partner while talking to Mission Network News.