>The Baptist Press is reporting that China is forcing unregistered churches to refrain from celebrating worship services for three months. The following is an excerpt from the Baptist Press:
WASHINGTON (BP)–The Chinese government has forced pastors of unregistered churches to pledge there will be no worship services at their congregations’ meeting sites during a three-month period surrounding the Summer Olympics, a human rights group reported Aug. 13.
The pastors also were required to promise they would not organize or attend any religious gatherings that were not approved by the Communist regime, according to China Aid Association, an American-based organization that monitors religious persecution in the world’s most populous country.
The report provided additional evidence of ongoing religious repression in China, reinforcing critics’ claims that the regime has not lived up to its commitment to improve its human rights record when Beijing was named in 2001 as the host city for this year’s Olympic Games. Unregistered congregations, which are not approved by the government, are among the religious groups under pressure from the Chinese regime.
China Aid Association reported on Beijing’s latest strong-arm tactic and provided an English translation of the document pastors were coerced to sign.
The form included a statement committing each signer to “refrain from organizing and joining illegal gatherings and refrain from receiving donations, sermons and preaching from” foreign religious entities. It also said “activities at the gathering sites will be shut down for three months (July 15 — October 15).”
Read the complete text by visiting the Baptist Press online.
The Chinese promised many things in order to be selected for the 2008 Olympics. Now that they are the host nation, they are reneging on some of their promises. Christians everywhere must pray for our brothers and sisters in China.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
var addthis_pub = ‘claude mariottini’;