Friends, our brothers and sisters in China covet your prayers. One of Beijing’s largest house churches is being heavily persecuted by Chinese government authorities, and they are not alone. The Chinese government is stepping up the hostility.
Zion’s pastor, Jin “Ezra” Mingri, as well as many of his parishioners, have endured months of persecution and harassment, reaching new heights when Pastor Mingri refused to allow Chinese officials to install video cameras in his church services for “security reasons.”
To add some background, the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities has been taking place in China for decades; the country has been listed as a country of particular concern on the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom report since 1999.
But religious persecution as a whole in China has been on the upswing ever since President Xi took office back in 2013. Under his leadership, the nation has tightened its grip on religious affairs taking place within its borders.
In February of this year, a list of Regulations for Religious Affairs was released by the Chinese government with the purported aim of “protect[ing] citizens’ freedom of religious belief.” The governments actions, however, continue to speak louder than their words.