China (MNN) — Chinese believers continue to remain firm in their faith even amid persecution and tension between the U.S. and China.
Believers in China have faced much. Tensions between the U.S. and China don’t look like they will thaw anytime soon. Persecution continues to increase, threatening Christians and those who follow other religions as well. However, Erik Burklin of China Partner says believers steadfastly trust in God.
“The pastors and leadership in China are not worried. Of course, they will be wise about how they operate and what they can do and not do, but they’re relentless in their faithfulness to their calling of being church planters [and] evangelists. That will continue no matter what kind of restrictions [President] Xi Jinping will impose on them,” he says.
Burklin believes North American believers can find encouragement in this example. While there can be anxiety about what the future holds, remembering who is truly in charge is crucial.
“I think we can learn from the Chinese leadership [and] how they are dealing with some of these crackdowns. Their bottom line is ‘we serve a higher calling. We serve a God who is above the communist regime,’” he says. “Whatever is going on politically matters and influences our personal lives, but we need to know we answer to God himself.”
Plans for 2021
In 2021, Burklin hopes to visit partners in China. However, unknowns still stand in the way. Many who had visas now have to reapply. It remains to be seen if China will require foreigners to be vaccinated before entering the country. Even if they can travel to China, Burklin and his team want to be cognizant of how their visit could affect their partners.
“We’re going to listen to our brothers and sisters in China to see how they are feeling. Because there’s been high tension between our two countries, it might actually not even be feasible right now to go over as a foreigner to do any kind of work in China. We’re going to be patient,” he explains.
Regardless of when they will be able to once again see each other in person, China Partner will continue to meet with pastors over video calls. They also plan to continue sending books and resources.
“We will continue to provide theological study books. That’s one thing that we can do remotely very well. In fact, we’re partnering with a group in Hong Kong right now [and] talking with them about what their needs might be for 2021,” Burklin explains.
Especially as we enter the new year, Burklin asks for continued prayer over this ministry.
“Definitely pray for wisdom for us that we would be able to continue to encourage our pastor friends [in China] and make sure we can give them what they really need.”
To learn more about how you can pray for and support China Partner, visit their website here.
Header image courtesy of Timothy Eberly via Unsplash