We are excited to report that three weeks ago all six house church leaders were released after thirty days of detention. All charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Both of the churches whose leaders were detained are deeply thankful and full of excitement upon hearing the news. Praise the Lord! The Spirit was at work during this ordeal and the churches bore much fruit. The leaders actively witnessed to their fellow inmates during their detainment and were privileged to see four people profess faith in Christ! Additionally, two of the women who were detained have unbelieving husbands. Thankfully their hearts were not hardened by this incident; rather, both husbands’ hearts are softer than ever towards the Lord. One husband even proclaimed publicly that it was his wife’s glory to be detained for her Christian faith.
The churches themselves have seen spiritual growth and along with many other house churches, they have worked hard to implement emergency plans for future crisis. This has helped unify the Chinese house church and formalize many of its commitments and priorities. Furthermore, many of the strongest leaders in these house churches have been women. During their detention, many brothers stood up and took initiative in leading and caring for the congregations, an answer to the leaders’ prayers.
Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to approach the throne of God asking that the detainees will be able to return to normal life. There are still many concerns about these two churches’ relationships with the local authorities, so pray that God will provide a way for the congregations to fellowship and worship peacefully.
- For God's deliverance of the leaders.
- That all criminal charges were dropped.
- For the four new believers.
- For the stability of the house churches in a time of crisis.
- For the pastors' and their families' mental, physical, and emotional recovery.
- For the salvation of the two women’s husbands.
- For the future safety of the churches and their regular meetings.
- For the churches to be a bold and faithful witness.
Hannah Nation serves as the blog editor for the China Partnership. She is a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and works full-time on staff with China Outreach Ministries, serving students in the Boston metro area. She first traveled to China in 2005 and has cared deeply for the country and its church ever since.