Tuesday, February 1, 2011

House church in Jiangsu province raided, shut down

Pray for believers in China today!
On Sunday, local religious affairs officials raided a house church in coastal Jiangsu province that has met for years and forced it to shut down, China Aid reported today.

The church in Zhongzhuang, Jianhu county, is pastored by Zeng Zhengliang, who used to be one of the leaders of the Chinese House Church Alliance.

Last weekend, the county Religious Affairs Bureau and the Public Security Bureau summoned Pastor Zeng and told him that if he dared to enter the church on the coming Sunday, he would be arrested.

Before 7 a.m. Sunday, Zhang Yuchun, head of the county office of the China Christian Council and the Three Self-Patriotic Association, showed up at the church door with two other officials to prevent the Sunday morning worship service from taking place.

Pastor Zeng and his church members went into the church as planned for the Sunday worship service. The local religious affairs officials sent one person by force to the pulpit to deliver a sermon, but the congregation refused to listen to him and drove him out of the pulpit. He again went to the pulpit and again he was driven off. Finally, he gave up.

After the service, church workers bought a padlock and locked the main door of the church building. When Zhang saw this, he also locked the church door to prevent the church members from gaining access to the building. Several hours later, Zhang drove back to the church and smashed the padlock the church workers had put on the door, thus ensuring that only he could enter the building.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in China. Pray especially for house church leaders and members, that God would lead them, guide them and protect them. Pray that the opposition would be blinded to the whereabouts and activities of believers and that, ultimately, God would do a work in the hearts of those who do not currently believe.

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