Protests rock Chinese cities

By November 30, 2022

China (MNN) — Fierce protests have erupted in at least eight major Chinese cities. It comes after years of harsh zero-COVID policies, many of which kept people locked in their homes for months at a time.

The protests began after an apartment fire killed 10 people under strict lockdown. Videos of the fire appear to show firefighters taking more time to reach the victims due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The fire happened in the Western region of Xinjiang, in a city that had been locked down for over 100 days.

Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says, “They just want to have some freedom to live life, even in the context of a communist government. Whether it’s religious freedom, the ability to visit family, to go out for a meal, or whatever the case may be, it reached a tipping point. And so people have hit the streets.”

CCP response

These are the most widespread demonstrations in China since the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

So far, the police have responded by detaining people and heavily patrolling the streets of major cities. Officials have also sent home university students, fearing they would stoke even more unrest.

Rovenstine says the protests could move China in a positive direction. “But as Tiananmen showed us, there’s also the opportunity for a response that is swift and harsh. So we’ll have to wait and see.”

“But the exciting thing for me as an observer of things going on in China is the opportunity for the Church to be a voice in all of this.”

Pray Chinese Christians will speak into the lives of those looking for significant change.

Pray also that Chinese leaders would not respond with violence but would listen to and understand their people. Rovenstine says, “National leaders have to do more than be iron-fisted. They have to live in a global economy. We no longer live in a world where information can be completely monitored. We are a connected global people.”



The header photo shows students holding a memorial for those who died in the apartment fire. (Photo courtesy of Date20221127, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

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