As millions of followers of Jesus gather in their homes around the world to worship using online platforms during this coronavirus pandemic, Chinese authorities ban all online preaching and order home worship meetings be rooted out, according to human rights group ChinaAid.
Shandong province’s two state-run Christian organizations, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council [the TSPM and CCC, respectively] released a statement on February 23, 2020. In it, they claimed “supervision departments” ordered all online preaching be ceased and churches that gather in secret be rooted out. See notice below in Chinese and English.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, internet-based services have increased significantly among both registered churches and the non-registered churches after being shut down by authorities.
Along with the restriction on online preaching, the notice also calls on the churches to assist in the rooting out of any non-approved churches in their communities. They’re being told to “positively guide” those Christians in ways their spiritual needs can be met, provided there would be no in-person meetings and no online worship or preaching.
Please share this need and pray for the people of China and their church planters, pastors, missionaries and churches seeking to serve and love them well during this crisis.