(Chengdu, Sichuan Province) State security officers sieged the home of the 90-year-old father of Liu Xiaoqiong, a renowned Chengdu female human rights activist, to prevent him from receiving baptism.
According to Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, Ms. Liu’s father revealed to his daughter that before his death he wants to profess Christ and receive Christian baptism. “He said that he hopes to be selected by Jesus, be blessed by God, and be baptized as Jesus directed believers,” says Representative Foley.
Representative Foley says that Chengdu state security department officials dispatched police vehicles to the place the elderly man lives. “Officers stake out this area 24 hours each day trying to intimidate pastors and bar them from baptizing Ms. Liu’s father,” says Representative Foley. “These are the same tactics they have used in Chengdu to sabotage the ministry of Early Rain Covenant Church, whose pastor, Wang Yi, was sentenced to nine years in prison last December.”
Representative Foley says that Ms. Liu’s father followed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) most of his life. “He watched China Central Television (CCTV), a Chinese public service broadcast, every day,” says Representative Foley. “He read the Party’s newspaper and would become angry if he heard someone criticize the CCP.”
Representative Foley says that now, after years of criticizing the Christian faith, Ms. Liu’s father has decided to follow Jesus. “In the past few years, he began to change as he became ill with a debilitating disease. Now, he has to lie in bed each day. During this difficult time for Ms. Liu’s father, members of Early Rain Covenant Church have regularly visited him and sang hymns for him. In response, he cried and said that he wants to be a Christian. He hopes to follow Jesus in baptism. At this point, however, there are police stationed at the door of his home every day.”
Patrol cars regularly parked near Liu Xiaoqiong’s father’s home
Representative Foley said that this police tactic is familiar to Chinese Christians, especially the members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, which continues to report multiple members under police surveillance.
“The goal is to intimidate pastors and other Christian workers. Chinese Christians know that this is the police’s way of sending the message: ‘If you try to baptize this man, you’re going to be detained.’”
Representative Foley says Voice of the Martyrs Korea is calling for concentrated intercession for Ms. Liu’s father and for the Christian workers seeking to reach him. “We need to pray that the Lord will enable Ms. Liu’s father to be baptized. We need to pray for the Christian workers there to be made wise and bold for this task. Christian faith is becoming more and more personally costly in China. We must be willing to bear that cost with them.”
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