China (MNN) — In response to growing COVID-19 cases, China has locked down the entire north-eastern province of Jilin. The move affects 24 million people in that province alone. Businesses have been told to close or have their employees work from home.
Other areas to the south have closed as well. It’s the biggest lockdown in China since COVID-19 first appeared in the city of Wuhan.
Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says, “There are three cities that have gone into total lockdown. People are stuck outside of Beijing because Beijing is not allowing people in for about 10 days.”
China hasn’t had many COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, thanks to heavy restrictions. But the more contagious Omicron variant is making headway in the country. Rovenstine says, “And for the first time, even our partners are starting to just wonder, ‘How long is this thing going to last?'”
It has made life challenging for local Christians. Rovenstine says, “We talked a little bit about the ability to worship, and that’s still being restricted on a come and go basis, depending on what each city decides is necessary.”
Pray Chinese Christians would have more freedom to gather together, and that this COVID-19 wave would dissipate soon.
But COVID-19 isn’t the only thing hindering Bibles for China’s work. They planned to have 50,000 Bibles delivered to Chinese speakers in Russia.
Thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that has become complicated. Ask God to give Bibles for China creativity. Rovenstine says, “Can we even pay for the Bibles without jeopardizing our relationship with our government? What does obedience look like?”
The header photo shows Changchun, the most populous city in Jilin Province. (Photo courtesy of wanghongliu, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)