China (MNN) — China’s war on religion continues without much opposition. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Catholic Church to task last week during a trip to Rome, but will anything change?
“The good news is that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is speaking out on behalf of Chinese Christians who are being persecuted, and particularly talked about the Catholic Church taking a stronger stand against the Chinese government,” Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says.
“We know that that the pressure against Christians includes Protestants as well; pressure is happening among every religion.”
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Persecution: the status quo
The U.S. is among only a handful of countries keeping China’s actions in the global spotlight. Earlier this year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended China keeps its Country of Particular Concern designation.
Chinese authorities immediately contested the report, telling the U.S. to “stop using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.” However, China’s ongoing crimes against humanity are widely-documented, and Nettleton says the government is a distinct driving force.
“Instead of seeing pockets of persecution, this is now the policy of the national government of China. It is coming down from the highest levels in Beijing, and every province is expected to carry out these directives.”
Describing China’s persecution of Christians and Muslims on Monday, MEMRI Vice President Alberto M. Fernandez observed an apparent apathy:
The astonishing reality is that there has been more global turmoil over the actions of the Minneapolis police in killing one man than there has been over a coldly calculated massive campaign of state terror and savage repression targeting tens of millions of people. China’s repression of religion has cost them little in terms of trade or economic relations.
China’s religious purge is not limited to Christians and Muslims. As described here, Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners face severe oppression, too.
How to help
We might not be able to change China, but we know the God who can. “Prayer is the number one thing we can do,” Nettleton says. Use the prompts listed alongside this article to guide your intercession.
“I think we need to know names like Wang Yi; his wife’s name is Jiang Ron [and] their son’s name is Joshua. Pastor Wang Yi is serving nine years in prison; his wife and son, who are not in prison, are facing intense pressure,” he continues.
“We need to know those names and be praying for those individuals.”
Pastor Wang Yi leads the Early Rain Covenant Church, a prominent unregistered church raided by police in 2018. Yi received a nine-year prison sentence earlier this year without ever going to trial.
Header image courtesy of Prayercast|China.