Peace in the Lord! On August 14th, Shouwang had her nineteenth Sunday outdoor worship service. On the past few Sundays, police stations held believers in detention for much longer time; most believers were detained for twenty-four hours, and some even for more than forty-eight hours. However, with a willingful heart to suffer for the Lord, brothers and sisters continue to seek and worship our God.
August 14th, Beijing, cloudy, with showers. In the past week, many believers were detained at home since Saturday. Two sisters were taken to a hotel nearby for detention since Friday night, and one of them was taken to the hotel by the chief police officer of Guangying Police Station and eight guards from her company right after she got off work. Besides them, at least sixteen believers were taken away on Sunday morning for going to the planned location to join the service (including Pastor Wang Shuangyan from Xinshu Church). They were then sent to at least twelve local police stations of their respective area. Police even took believers who were visiting into police stations (e.g. Qinghe Police Station) for interrogation. Till 0:00 on the 15th, nine believers were released home (including the two sisters who were detained in the hotel), and the other nine believers were still under detention. The last sister under detention was released around noontime on the 16th (Tuesday).
In the past few weeks, each police station has put more force to keep believers under longer and tougher detention. While keeping believers under longer detention, some police stations did not provide any food for them, nor did they allow believers who were visiting to send food in. Dongtiejianying Police Station of Fengtai District prevented believers from sending meals to Pastor Shuangyan, and Pastor Shuangyan protested it by fasting. Some police stations even prohibited believers from visiting, driving them out of the door. There were heavy rains in many parts of Beijing at night on 14th, and believers who were waiting outside each police station had an unforgettable rainy night.
If those national security staff who persecuted believers assume that they can force Christians to give up by increasing the level of persecution, even with illegal means which are against the principles of humanism, they are destined to be disappointed. Because our brothers and sisters, though have difficulties, are not overwhelmed by these persecutions. We are weak human beings, and no one is willing to suffer from sitting on a hard chair for 24 or 48 hours. But if it is God’s will for us to face such difficulties, many believers are willing to suffer for our Lord. Brothers and sisters who have gone through such a suffering know that the blessings from suffering together with the Lord far exceed our expectation and imagination. And thus we have more faith, knowing that our Lord does not allows us to experience such a hardship in vain, but has his special and good will. May our church become a church which can suffer together with the Lord, so that we will experience the glory of victory together with him, and be a good witness for the Lord in this difficult time.
May peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy and love of Father God, and the console and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, be with each brother and sister of Shouwang Church and all the churches who remember Shouwang Church in prayers, from this time on and forevermore! Amen.
Beijing Shouwang Church