Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

China's Churches Grow Despite Government Opposition

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
An evangelist from Henan, China, reports that the church has grown rapidly there in the last twelve months. He sent eleven teams of evangelists out in February 1994, and his team alone baptized 20,000 people. The other ten teams had similar results. Government attempts to control church growth continue, although the Henan evangelist said the tension is lower than a few years ago. People are being detained for shorter periods, he said. Nevertheless, another evangelist from Henan was arrested in February.

In Guangdong Province, police broke up a house church meeting of 500 people and arrested nine leaders. Other reports indicate that the police in Guangdong Province have stepped up their campaign of arrests and caught John Short, an Australian missionary, who conducted an evangelistic meeting in an unregistered house church. The Chinese evangelists who were with him were placed against an outside wall and punched on the forehead several times by the officers. Evangelist Li was severely beaten with steel rods. He sustained fractures to several ribs and injuries to his back, legs, and neck. (From REC News Exchange and the Christian Observer, April, 1995).

At the same time, one of the reports indicates that due to the rapid growth of house churches, the shortage of Bibles has become acute. Apparently, only about eight percent of the new converts are getting their own copy of the Bible. The Bible League is especially asking for more support to provide Bibles for China. Anyone wishing to contribute towards Bibles for China, may also contact Reformation Translation Fellowship, 302 E. First Street, Bloomington, IN 47401, USA.

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