China (MNN) — The U.S. and many other countries have imposed restrictions on travelers from China as COVID-19 cases rise in the country.
After mass protests, the Chinese government ended its zero COVID policies. But even three years after the pandemic started, China has an under-vaccinated population with little natural immunity. Hospitals have filled up with elderly patients.
Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says, “I had a conversation with one of our contacts there. Just about everybody she knows is dealing with what they assume is COVID-19. Not everybody’s been tested, but many are. That is a result of the lifting of this policy.”
Despite the high cases, the Chinese government says it will not bring back zero COVID restrictions. Instead, people in China are hearing a new story from the government. COVID-19 isn’t as dangerous as it once was, and people need to work to ramp up the economy.
Rovenstine says many churches are still closed. “Not because of the government’s mandate, but because of the concern of the local leaders. It would be similar to a church in the United States saying, ‘Hey, 80% of our people are sick; let’s take a couple of weeks and get better before we come back.’”
Bibles for China hopes for more ministry opportunities in 2023. Ask God to give them wisdom. Rovenstine says, “There’s a little bit more of an opening. We’re hopeful it will allow us more ease of access for the scriptures to get to where they need to be.”
“Instead of one lane of traffic, we’ve got three lanes to work in.”
Pray for the general Chinese population as they adjust to a new way of living. Rovenstine says, “I think there’s still going to be a fear of COVID-19 itself. Because it has been three years of the government saying, ‘You need to be very afraid of this disease.’”
The header photo shows health workers in Beijing checking body temperatures in 2020. (Photo courtesy of Pau Colominas, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)