Thursday, 7 February 2008
CRACK DOWN IN CHINA
China is facing a difficult time. The Chinese government has to make sure it doesn’t lose face before the world at the Beijing Olympics this March, and they’re ‘cleaning up’ anything that might not make them look good. Unfortunately, that includes some Christians and foreign workers, North Korean refugees, and some humanitarian aid workers!
From behind the great wall of Chinese censorship, evidence of ongoing persecution of Christians continues to emerge, with China Aid Association (CAA) yesterday reporting a significant increase in harassment, arrests and detentions in 2007 compared with 2006. In its annual report on persecution in China, CAA reported a total of 60 incidents in 2007 but cautioned that, due to censorship of communications in China, the total number of incidents was likely much higher.
Incidents included the arrest and sentencing of Christian rights defender and pastor Hua Huiqi in Beijing on January 26, 2007 and the arrest and detention of Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan in Beijing on November 28. Authorities released Shi on January 4, citing “insufficient evidence,” although a source said he is awaiting a formal trial. No date has been set for the trial, nor have authorities revealed what the new charges against him would be.
Let’s remember our Chinese brothers and sisters in our prayers in the run-up to the Olympics. Let’s not forget to pray for the government, too: the Bible talks a lot about submitting for God’s sake to those he’s put in authority over us (1 Peter 2:13, for example, or Titus 3:1), so they need our prayers to govern wisely.( Open Doors Youth)