An annual nationwide prayer initiative at Christmas has been launched to remember the imprisoned Christians in China.
"Lights of Christmas" is conducted by WorldServe Ministries in partnership with multiple house church networks in China. The name of the program has a great significance because it tells the story of the persecuted Christians in China.
"Many house church pastors in China face arrest, persecution and imprisonment. When imprisoned they are forced to do hard labor - making bricks, mining coal, putting together cigarette lighters...and even assembling Christmas lights," stated the WorldServe Ministries.
Through these splendid decorations, WorldServe Ministries mobilizes American Christians to blanket these persecuted house church Chinese pastors in prayer. And it also aims to raise funds to care for these pastors and their families during and after their prison experience.
According to WorldServe Ministries, this year's prayer initiative is focused on providing year-round prayer for 1,225 Chinese pastors and their families. Special prayer cards are prepared by WorldServe, each printed with one of the 1,225 pastors’ fake name (partially changed for security purposes) and the province in which they are ministering, alongside with the specific prayer points for them. The cards are available online to download for printing.
On the "Lights of Christmas" website, there are many testimonies and stories of the imprisoned Christians in China. WorldServe Ministries echoes the call from the underground church leadership in China for financial support to the families of the imprisoned pastors.
The prayer initiative at Christmas this year may have even drawn greater attention from Christians because of the recent increasing religious freedom violation in China widely reported by foreign press.
On Tuesday, twenty nine house church leaders were arrested in the province of Henan when they convened in the home of one of the believers to discuss how the house churches can effectively help the majority of peasants diagnosed with AIDS, according to the U.S.-based Chinese persecution watchdog the China Aid Association (CAA).
In late November, some 16 Catholic nuns were beaten up by a young mob as they were trying to defend their school from being demolished.
WorldServe Ministries is a U.S.-based organization that serves the suffering and persecuted Church around the world. It mainly works in many Asian countries such as China, Russia, Burma, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
For the details of "Lights of Christmas", please visit the website http://www.thelightsofchristmas.org/.