China (MNN) — China re-emphasized its claim to Taiwan in an address to the U.N. General Assembly in late September. Tensions remain high as the U.S. promises to defend the island nation.
Bob Fu, a partner with The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says, “I think if China started an invasion and occupied Taiwan, the first civilian target would be the Taiwan Presbyterian Church. Because even on the Chinese Communist Party’s public reports, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan is being already accused of being involved with the Taiwan separatist movement.”
“They provide lots of leadership and intellect to independent leadership in the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).”
The Taiwan Presbyterian Church is the largest denomination in Taiwan, with 1,100 churches.
Hong Kong might provide a pattern for what churches in Taiwan would face.
Chinese officials recently put a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal on trial. He set up a fund to support pro-democracy protestors.
Many evangelical churches have gone underground. Fu says, “And some were treated even worse, like some Hong Kong Baptist churches. Their bank accounts were frozen just because they were found harboring or providing a shelter for students in Hong Kong, peaceful protesters.”
How to pray
Ask God to fill churches in Hong Kong with strength and peace. Some want to stay and establish underground churches, while others have chosen to leave. Many fled to Taiwan, while others have made their way to Australia, England, or even Canada.
Fu says, “The church, I think, is still very strong. But the Communist Party, I hear, is already considering a Hong Kong Three-Self Patriotic Movement church. One day, there will be an announcement with some puppet church leaders coming to the media and declaring their loyalty to the Communist Party.”
The header photo shows Cardinal Joseph Zen in Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of Alfredoko, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)