One of China’s most persecuted churches used its weekly prayer letter to intercede for another longsuffering Chinese church facing renewed persecution.

Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, which has been enduring its own crackdown by authorities since its pastor, Wang Yi, and more than 100 church members were arrested nearly four years ago, called on God to “help [Guangzhou] Huajing Church pass this ‘examination’”. 

The “examination, according to Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, is the Communist Party’s August 19 ban on Huajing Church. “It’s the culmination of more than 20 years of persecution,” says Representative Foley. “Ever since the Huajing Church was founded in 2000 by Pastor Cao Wen, it has faced wave after wave of persecution. Authorities closed its building in 2015, and then after the church moved, authorities closed their next building in 2019. Then the Communist Party completely banned the church on August 19. Authorities have been threatening the pastors, interrogating the members, raiding their homes, and installing CCTV cameras outside their doors.”  

According to Representative Foley, it’s a situation that Early Rain Church members can empathize with. 

“Early Rain Church has been experiencing the same treatment from the authorities, but neither church has given up its ministry or lost its trust in God, and neither is begging the world for help,” says Representative Foley. “They both see the persecution they are experiencing as a gift permitted by God to help the Chinese church grow stronger and continue to spread. We Christians from countries without a lot of government persecution can learn a lot of helpful biblical theology by ‘listening in’ on the prayers Early Rain Church is praying for Huajing Church.” 

Representative Foley provided an excerpt from Early Rain Church’s prayer for Huajing Church, which Early Rain Church published in one of its weekly prayer newsletters last month: 

Lord, please strengthen Pastor Cao Wen and all the workers who have been called by You to serve the sheep. Please make them see that this is a trial permitted by You, Lord. The scope, method, and extent of this persecution are all determined by You. Under the control of the Holy Good, you must open a way out for the loyal people in difficult times. Pray that the Lord will grant all the brothers and sisters of Huajing Church the heavenly wisdom to be able to identify all the lies of the devil. In the atmosphere of terror created by the devil, they can stand firm in the Lord and not be disturbed by rumors or misled by lies. In the faith trust each other, tolerate each other in love, and maintain the unity of the church. Ask the Lord to help Huajing Church pass this examination, grow more mature, fight for the Lord, and win with the Lord! 

File photo of a worship service at Early Rain Covenant Church before the December 9, 2018 arrest of Pastor Wang Yi.

Representative Foley also shared Early Rain Church’s instructions to its ministry partners from an earlier prayer newsletter on how they can pray for Huajing Church: 

No matter how preachers are driven away, the Lord’s church will always stand firm. The church has taken root deeply in the land of China and can no longer be driven away. The church may be persecuted and the preachers may be driven away, but the head of the church is in heaven, and the church has demonstrated the power of the resurrection for thousands of years. Pray that the Lord will continue to use persecution to cause the church in China to grow a hundredfold and harvest a thousandfold. 

“Sometimes we Christians in so-called ‘free’ countries wrongly pray for persecuted Christians, by asking the Lord to make their situation like ours, with freedom of religion and no persecution,” says Representative Foley. “This prayer by one persecuted church for another persecuted church can teach us how to pray for all persecuted churches, and even how to pray for our own churches. Their prayer reminds us not to be afraid of persecution and to remember that the Lord, not the government, holds all power and authority. The Lord often uses persecution, not religious freedom, to strengthen and grow his church. This is why churches in persecuted countries are typically much stronger in their faith and more fruitful in their growth than churches in countries where there is no persecution.  

Individuals interested in learning about or supporting Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s work in partnership with persecuted Christians in China can visit or give via electronic transfer to: 

KB Bank: 463501-01-243303 

Account Holder: ()순교자의소리 

Please note “China” on the transfer. 

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