The Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping is displaying a level of paranoia that suggests it is highly unstable. China is deploying a social-credit system straight out of “Black Mirror” designed to track and rate all of your movements using 400 million cameras, internet browsing data, social media data, and card transactions. They can stop anyone they want from buying a train ticket, buying property, getting a job, or having a bank account.
Revelation 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
They expect to deploy this system by 2020. It seems many Chinese support it. Obviously, Christians and other dissidents will be persecuted by this system. In fact, the government already has increased persecution of Christians. They recently arrested 100 Christians from a Chengdu Reformed Church including the pastor and other churches in the presbytery.
Li Yingqiang, the sole Early Rain church elder not in custody, told me that when he heard that the police were coming after Early Rain, he shut off his phone, arranged for another family to take care of his children, and went into hiding. After he left his house, police broke down his door, and Li believes they have detained his wife.
He noted that the church had created plans in case of a government raid such as this, but they could not be carried out because nearly all the church staff had been taken at once. “My feelings are complicated,” he said Monday as he realized he was the only one left.
No one in the Western church plans for things like this. I don’t even know who I would give my children to should the government decide to haul me off to jail for attending church since the only people nearby who I would trust with my kids go to the same church.
The police have also visited the parents of students at the school, forcing them to send their kids to public schools. The wife of Matthew Su, one of the elders who had been taken, said that at 4 a.m. on Monday, two women from the Ministry of Education showed up at her apartment and told her she needed to send her two oldest children to the local public elementary school. She declined, saying, “You’ve told us, thank you. We will not go. If you want to arrest their parents then arrest us.”
Instead of complaining about indoctrination by the public schools, the Chinese church actually worked together and created an affordable school then defied authorities when they demanded that their children attend. We keep complaining about our public schools but enrollment in Christian schools keeps declining. What if we tried working together?
The pastor of the Reformed Church in Chengdu used a proxy to publish a brilliant letter he wrote in anticipation of being arrested. I encourage you all to read it.
Historically, Christians have been a despised people. Jesus warned that since the world hated him, it would hate his followers (John 15:18). Christians have historically put up with much at the hands of governments and the world around them repaying insults and violence with kindness and prayer. There are cases where physical self-defense is warranted, but it depends on the circumstances. As Bill Lind reminds us, the Moral and Mental levels of war are far greater than the Physical level. Above them all is the Spiritual level where our prayers are effective and Jesus has already overcome. These Christians in China definitely need your prayers and calls to your senator, congressman and the president. As Christianity collapses in the West, I suspect we will need the prayers of Chinese Christians shortly.