While clowns like Harold Camping were garnering all the publicity with his Rapture date-setting, the saints of God continue to suffer various persecution all around the world. A few samples:
Chinese Government Cracks down on Shouwang Church
Over 500 Christians, about half of the membership of the Shouwang Church in Beijing, were placed on house arrest, in the efforts of the Chiinese government to prevent the Church, from celebrating Easter outdoors. This however did not deter the others from still showing up. According to ChinaAid, “As happened the previous two Sundays, police and police vehicles were waiting at the plaza, and church members were bundled onto a waiting bus.” At least 34 of them were detained by police. Shouwang, a Church of mostly young professionals and students, is forced to having outdoor meetings as the tenancy of the Church’s rented space was not renewed by the owners – following pressure mounted by the Chinese government. Similarly, the keys to the $4 milion property the Church paid have not been released by the seller – also due to pressure from the government.
ChinaAids further reports: “Among those who were held under informal house arrest were Shouwang’s pastors and lay leaders, including founding and senior pastor Jin Tianming. These church leaders have not been allowed out of their homes for more than two weeks. Also detained were all the members of the Shouwang choir, reputedly the best of the Beijing house church choirs. The choir had been practicing for months for the Easter celebration. As a result of the on-going showdown, some church members have lost their jobs or rented homes—or both.
For its effective efforts to publicize the persecution of the Shouwang Church, Texas-based ChinaAid has found its website under severe attacks in recent times – from Mainland China.
Algeria demands closure of all Protestant Churches
The International Christian Concern is reporting that Algerian authorities have ordered the Algerian Protestant Church Association (EPA) to close all churches under her authority throughout the country. Seven churches in particular, in the province of Bejala, were to be closed with immediate effect. The May 8 notification was ordered by the governor of the Bejala province and signed by the Police Commissioner Ben Amar Salma. It is supposedly based on Ordinance 06-03 which was established in 2006 to regulate the worship of non-Musllims by requiring churches to obtain government permission to hold services. According to the notification received by the EPA, the churches are to be closed permanently “for exercising religious worship other than Islam without authorization or the compliance of the National Commission for Non-Muslim Religious services.” This requirement is however in gross violation of the country’s constitution which, in article 36, admits that freedom of creed is inviolable. See details at http://www.persecution.org/2011/05/25/seven-churches-forced-to-close-in-algerian-province/
A truckload of riot police stormed a prayer meeting held in a Harare suburb on Saturday April 9 and assaulted worshipers gathered to pray for peace. The police rushed into the Nazarene Church in Glen Norah and used tear gas to force the worshippers, including community leaders, out of the church hall. The police then fired tear gas canisters at homes and other local churches and eventually drove numbers of people out of the suburb. The police even arrested passersby who walked by the church after the congregants had been arrested or chased away. Why the rampage by Robert Mugabe? See further details at http://www.khouse.org/enews_article/2011/1762/print/