China (MNN) — An official notice was sent to
government agencies last weekend telling them to "be prepared to use military force to
crackdown on the churches throughout China," according to ChinaAid. Dubbed
the "Xinjiang Model," this method was named after a violent incident
that resulted in several hundred deaths in August. ChinaAid's president says this
preparation is unnecessary.
"The Chinese government has no reason to be fearful of the
peaceful Christian church," says president of ChinaAid, Bob Fu. "We
call upon the international community to continue to urge the Chinese government
to respect Chinese citizens' religious freedom and to avoid shedding innocent
On Friday, September 25, nine leaders of the Fushan Church were kidnapped
by government officials while traveling to Beijing to petition September 13
violence. ChinaAid says they were seized without warrant and haven't been heard
from since. Officials also seized all computers, TVs and other church-owned
valuables, calling them "illegal materials." Pray for these leaders'
immediate release and the rightful restoration of all church property.
Military police were stationed inside the main Linfen Church
to prevent its 5,000 members from holding services. The police now guard the
building and its surrounding areas around the clock. Meetings and worship have
also been prohibited at 30 daughter churches in nearby townships.
According to ChinaAid, the central Chinese government is
fully responsible for the escalating violence against the Linfen Church. Along
with this weekend's official notice, the Beijing PSB has categorized the Sept.
13 incident as a "violent uprising" and resolved to use military
force to subdue the supposed "unrest."
Six days after a mob attacked the Linfen Church, government
officials met with church leaders under the pretense of negotiating a
settlement. Six leaders were kidnapped from their homes that night, and a false
offer of 1.4 million yen was promised. Learn more about the "Midnight Negotiations"
by clicking here.
Pray for God's protection over the community of
Chinese believers as this crackdown increases. Pray that the Chinese government
will stop using excessive force in their suppression of people of faith.