UNDERGROUND UNIVERSITY (UU) CHINA
We shared a meal with Pastor N, who is one of the original signers of Pastor Wang Yi's Declaration.
An Original Signer of Pastor Wang Yi’s Declaration
Pastor N was one of the original 439signers of Pastor Wang Yi’s document, “A Declaration for the Sake of the Christian Faith.” One section of the declaration says,
We are obligated to announce bad news to the authorities and to all of society: God hates all attempts to suppress human souls and all acts of persecution against the Christian church, and he will condemn and judge them with righteous judgment. But we are even more obligated to proclaim good news to the authorities and to all of society: Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the Savior and King of mankind, in order to save us sinners was killed, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God, destroying the power of sin and death. In His love and compassion God has prepared forgiveness and salvation for all who are willing to believe in Jesus, including Chinese people.
After signing the declaration, things became very difficult for Pastor N and his church. The government repeatedly kicked the church out of the buildings they rented by threatening the landlords who rented to them. Eventually, Pastor N couldn’t find any landlords willing to rent space to them. Practically speaking, the church had no place to meet collectively.
Pastor N’s church is a very family-oriented church, more so than most Chinese churches. Many pastors and churches throughout China teach a “church first, family second” doctrine. Church leadership often has very little time to spend with their families. Through our past UU China trainings, we’ve met pastors who were separated from their families for years due to the demands of the local church. Pastor N’s church is not like that at all. Children attend worship services with their families instead of splitting off according to age divisions. The families themselves tend to be large, as the mothers/fathers in this church have more children (compared to other Chinese families). There is a strong emphasis placed on family discipleship.
These families also valued alternative means of education for their children since the state education has a strong Communist ideological slant. For many years alternative education was possible in China . . . illegal, but still possible. There were many Christian private schools as well as home-school cooperatives to which officials would turn a blind eye. After Pastor N signed the declaration, alternative education was no longer possible for their children. The government began to strictly enforce the fact that their children had to attend public school.
With the increasing government intervention, Pastor N and several members of the congregation felt like the Lord was leading them out of China. We met Pastor N in an undisclosed location where he is seeking asylum.
Pastor N has been in a “holding-pattern” lately. He doesn’t know what the future holds for him and it’s hard for him to fully live in the present (no stable home, no stable job). We reminded him that Paul tells us in Romans that we don’t need stable jobs or income to serve the Lord. Our primary tool of ministry is simply “our bodies.”
This was an important lesson we learned from underground North Korean Christians and Pastor N was challenged to learn how God works in difficult places like North Korea.
Even though our UU training with Pastor N is now finished, we continue to keep in contact with him and are seeking for ways to equip him for ministry.
Please Pray With Us For The Following Requests:
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- Pray for Pastor N and his congregation. He is one of the original signers of the Pastor Wang Yi’s China Declaration and as a result he faced increasing restrictions from the Chinese government. He and his church are seeking asylum in another country, but have already been denied and are now in the appeals process. If they are sent back to China, Pastor N and his congregation could face arrest.
- Chinese authorities continue to raid churches and remove crosses across China. One of the most recent occurrences occurred in Wenzhou. We’ve done several trainings in Wenzhou and know that the Christians there have been suffering these type of attacks for the past six years. Please pray that these Christians will continue to be faithful in the midst of these circumstances.