The Police Meet Our Church

Yesterday a police officer came by the church building to check people’s residency cards. Just a routine thing that happens every once in a while for the police to keep tabs on what’s going on and who lives under their jurisdiction. I wasn’t there, but the three Chinese guys training for ministry were, as well as two of the most involved Chinese girls. No big deal at the house – checked the cards and took off.

Later on, the officer went to the daycare that we rent space from for Sunday morning services (about 50 yards away). He saw our chairs stacked against the wall, and then he got from the principal that we’re having services there. Asked him a bunch of questions, then told him to come in sometime to explain it more clearly.

This was a tense situation before us, because while we’ve had run-ins with the police before, this was the first time that they’ve understood that we are a Christian church. In the past they always assumed we were able to lead them to believe that we were just teaching English.

As I understand the situation as it currently stands, everything will probably be alright. The cops have pretty much shrugged at us! One of the officers even joked about coming to our services himself. The guys told him not to wear his uniform if he did!

The principal called us because he wants to keep getting our rent, so he doesn’t want us to get in trouble, so he wanted to know what he shouldn’t say around the police. Nice to have him on our side. Helps the police know that we’re not doing anything malicious.

For the record, what might a situation like this result in?

  1. It’s possible, though very unlikely, that the guys would be arrested and imprisoned
  2. The guys might be detained and questioned, then let off with a warning
  3. They might be fined – though there’s no way to be sure how much
  4. The church might be restricted from holding a meeting again
  5. Maybe nothing happens – pretty amazing, as it is almost permission to continue!

So the church needs your prayers right now. Sometimes skepticism about the need for a high level of security in China makes people think that you don’t believe anything bad can happen to an underground church. Obviously that’s not true. What we want to insist on, though, is:

  • the truly severe consequences of preaching the Gospel are relatively rare
  • often the ministry of the church continues completely unimpeded by the authorities
  • believers can land themselves in trouble by entangling themselves in political actions
  • most of the ‘security measures’ do nothing to evade the kind of threat we’re facing now
  • when we’ve been as wise as possible, and still encounter persecution in proclaiming the Gospel, Christ is worthy!

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4 Comments on “The Police Meet Our Church”

  1. gretmasters August 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Praying

    • Vengador August 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      Thanks Gretchen – really enjoyed talking to Tyler yesterday – can’t wait til we can come see u guys

  2. Travis Snode August 5, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    We will be praying for this situation.

    • Vengador August 5, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      Thanks Travis we appreciate your prayers!

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