Christians in China are refusing to bow to the demands of the Communist government, holding fast to their faith despite overwhelming persecution. Recently, the members of a large church miraculously saved their building from demolition in the midst of an ongoing legal case over the church's land.
According to China Aid, Wei, the man in charge of Mengen Church, revealed that local authorities devised a plan to demolish his church and use the land to build a Buddhist temple. The Communist authorities had even hired an electrician to cut off the church's power and water supply.
Determined to save their building, the church members convinced the electrician not to do so, despite his concerns that he might lose his job. Members also wrote a petition that garnered 147 signatures and saved their church from demolition.
"[On July 28] several Christians went into town to report this matter, because our church has all the legal documents," a Christian told the outlet. "The town's government personnel replied that they would conducted an investigation into this matter, but I am afraid they have collaborated [with the people who instigated the case]. The result will not likely be good."
While the church remains intact, local officials are still gathering groups of officials to discuss continued attempts to cut off the church's power and turn it into a Buddhist temple.
Christians in China have seen an uptick in persecution since the Xi administration came into power three years ago. Last year, the president warned that religions must be independent from foreign influence and said that the Communist party's religious work should be about winning over the hearts and minds of the public.
Over the past several years, an unprecedented number of church leaders have been imprisoned, sent to mental institutions, beaten and tortured. Thousands of crosses have also been forcibly removed from over 1,800 churches since 2014, and a number of churches have been completely demolished.
A local Christian recently told China Aid that government officials have also been colluding with gangs to harass Christians: "The government is currently preoccupied with the 'big tigers' [an ongoing crackdown on officials the Chinese government deems corrupt], and the 'little tigers' [continue to] unreasonably bully people, using means such as burying people alive and thinking they can occupy other people's land," the Christian revealed.
Despite such ongoing persecution, China Aid president Bob Fu told The Gospel Herald he is "more optimistic than ever" that the Gospel will continue to impact the country in a tremendous way. He cited a Purdue University study that found the country is on course to become the world's "most Christian nation" by 2030.
"While we still feel the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters in China, we have seen the Good News spark the rapid growth of Christianity," he said. "We have seen a great revival - more and more believers are becoming actively involved. I believe that in the end, the Communist Party will be called the 'Servant of the Lord.'"