All posts tagged: China

Has God’s temple been desecrated in China?

As I read a story out of China, I wondered if I was watching end times prophecy come to pass. Now I don’t think it is the actual fulfillment, but I don’t like how close it got. In 2 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul describes how the Antichrist will set himself up like a god, in the temple of God: 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASV There were two temples in Israel’s history. King Solomon built the first temple that was destroyed by Babylon in 586 BC. The second, built by Ezra and later renovated by King Herod, was the one that Jesus visited. It was obliterated by the Romans in 70 AD and was never rebuilt. But there are …

Chinese Communist Party's hammer and sickle appearing along side McDonalds Credit: Phillip McMaster/Flickr/Creative Commons

Just in time for Easter: Chinese city offers a Judas’ reward for citizens turning in Christians

I have written several articles in the past how China has taken a sharp turn to the left under its latest president Xi Jingping. The communist trademark hammer and sickle is showing up in public displays around China. Now Asia News is reporting that the Chinese city of Guangzhou is offering rewards of as much as $1,500 US for people to turn in Christians to authorities. Over the previous couple of decades China entered an unprecedented time of prosperity and freedom. During this time, Christianity, that was flourishing in the underground church, moved above ground and this resulted in the construction of several mega churches. However, under Jingping this is all changing. The government is now cracking down on these churches. In early December, police demolished one of the the country’s largest church, The Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi Province, using dynamite and heavy machinery. As a result of this crackdown, Christians are heading back underground where they flourished before Jingping gained tyrannical control of the nation. Now the leaders of Guangzhou want its citizens …

Chongqing, China Credit: Ted McGrath/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is social credit monitoring and ‘deboosting’ paving the way for something more sinister?

No one could have believed it, but we are starting to see the unfolding of an ancient prophecy given the Apostle John who had been banished on the Mediterranean Island of Patmos somewhere around 65-85 AD. In his vision of the end times, John saw a time coming when people would unable to buy or sell if they didn’t take the mark of the beast: 16 He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. 17 Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast—that is, his name or his number. (Revelation 13:16-17 NET) Though what we see happening today is not necessarily a direct fulfillment of this prophecy, it may be paving the way for what is to eventually come. An English newspaper, The Guardian, recently reported that as part of a “social credit” system being set up by the Chinese government, it is stopping people from buying and selling. Through …

For the first time, India, the second largest country in the world, has entered the top ten list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution. Credit: Piviso/Flickr/Public Domain

‘Shocking’ jump in number of Christians facing persecution in 2018

According to figures released by Open Doors, the persecution of  Christians took a massive jump last year stating that 30 million people were added bringing the number of Christians vulnerable to persecution to 248 million, a 13.9% increase over 2017. Open Doors described this year-over-year increase in persecution as “shocking.” But it is part growing trend of Christian persecution seen around the world seen in recent years. Five years ago, Open Door only had one country on its severe persecution list and in 2018, there are now 11. Part of the 2018 jump is due to increased persecution of Christians in two of the world’s largest countries, China and India. In fact this past year India joined the top ten list of most dangerous countries for Christians for the first time. This was primarily due to the rise of persecution of Christians by radical Hindus, who believe it is non-Indian to join other religions. The change in China has been equally dramatic as it jumped from 43 spot in 2017 to 27th in 2018 as …

China's communist revival Credit: Jeroen Elfferich/Flickr/Creative Commons

You shall have no other gods except Xi Jinping?

It was bizarre move. But Bitter Winter, an organization monitoring Christian persecution in China, reported on November 1, 2018 approximately 30 Chinese officials entered a church service in the Dongcun city in Henan province and demanded the congregation remove the first of the Ten commandments that the church had displayed on its wall. The commandment in question is of course: 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 NIV) The officials were working with the United Front Work Department and were there to inspect the church.  According to Bitter Winter, one of the officials went to the front of the church and actually removed the first commandment leaving just nine. When a member of the church protested stating this was distorting the Bible, the official stated: “[China’s president] Xi Jinping opposes this statement. Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone disagrees they are fighting against the country. This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.” It is a strange situation when a …

Wealth comes to China Credit: Jimmie/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have You Fallen From Your Car?

Recently, a young man in Russia posed for a picture, with him sprawled on the ground. His feet were near the bottom step of a very expensive private jet. This was a joke, pretending to be richer than Solomon, and owning a fabulous private jet. Most of the world would never know about this small joke, except that it went viral and became a meme, in China. Now, China has a fad of ‘falling out of your car.’ Typically, a young woman, in expensive clothes will pose for a picture, sprawled on her face. Around her head will be an arch of expensive things that only rich people have, like high-end phones, make-up, jewellery, and wads of cash. Her feet will be near the open door of a very expensive car, as if she fell while getting out. All the hardware and clothes show that she lives the life of a fabulous movie star. RELATED: China’s ‘flaunt your wealth’ challenge goes viral with people falling out of cars with luxury goods I predict this meme …

Beijing, China Credit: Oneris Daniel Rico Garcia/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is China’s ‘social credit’ system setting the stage for the antichrist?

Some experts are warning that other left-leaning governments may soon be tempted to carry out the Chinese government’s “Social Credit” system that came into full effect on May 1, 2018. The plan introduced by Chinese President Jinping will monitor and control those who don’t agree with China’s communistic policies. People will be issued a score based on their political, social and economic activities and this score will affect their ability to do things in China. Some suspect it is simply expanding a “Social Credit” system already developed by a major government-owned online Chinese retailer Alibaba. Alibaba’s financial division, Ant Financial, developed a social credit system called Sesame Credit. While many western businesses have a point system rewarding people based on how much they buy, Sesame Credit includes a strong social aspect in its system where people receive a rating between 350 and 950. The higher the score the better. The benefits of a high Sesame score include having government visa’s fast tracked, renting vehicles without a deposit. People with high Sesame ratings will even receive …

Yanghu, Anhui, China Credit: Ted McGrath/Flickr/Creative Commons

China’s communist revival: Is Satan rearing his head again?

There is a communist revival taking place in the world today. We see cultural Marxism rearing its ugly head in universities with the extreme left trying to shut down, sometimes violently, any conservatives who dare to disagree with their extreme left-wing opinions. Put perhaps the clearest example of this swing can be seen in the communist resurgence taking place in China. In an article in the Washington Times, Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid a Christian organization that monitors human right abuses in China, said persecution of Christians in China has reached levels unseen since the days of Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In 2016, ChinaAid reported the persecution of 762 Churches and 48,000 people and by 2017 that had risen to 1,265 churches and 223,000 people. The persecution trend is veering upwards again in 2018 since the passing of a law on Feb. 1 requiring all churches to register with the state.  Earlier this year, the government dynamited the largest church in Shanxi province — the Golden Lampstand Church.  The government has also burned …

Beijing, China on a smoggy day Credit: Jesse Varnier/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jesus Meets “The Great Firewall of China”

Very recently, the government of China has restricted the sale of Christian Bibles online, to its own citizens. The Communist government of China wants to control rapidly growing religions, including Christianity and Islam, although the Islamic Koran is still available online. Religion was supposed to die in China, after the Communists came to power in 1949, but recently there are signs that Chinese people are becoming more religious, and the major religions are surging in popularity. Also, China is becoming a world leader in online marketing, or e-commerce. The growth in online sales is also surging in China, and this is a very recent trend. RELATED: China’s e-commerce explosion. What can we learn? In this mix, Bible sales have suddenly been restricted. RELATED: China bans Bible sales: New York Times Bibles are still available from church book stores, but not online. Strangely, China produces millions of Bibles for export, in many languages, including Chinese. There are no restrictions on this business. So, what does the restriction of Bible sales mean for Christians? Probably not much. …

Li River, China Credit: Charlie fong/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

China forbids children from attending church

According to reports coming out of China, several provinces have stepped up their persecution of the Church by prohibiting children from attending religious services. Recently, over 100 churches in the Chinese province of Zhejiang received notice that minors can no longer attend any type of religious activity including church and summer camps. In some jurisdictions, parents were required to sign papers saying their children will not be attending religious services. Officials threatened parents with legal action if they disobeyed. This is not the first time Zhejiang officials had taken a hard-line against Christians. In late 2015, officials ordered the removal of all crosses on government-run churches. When Christians protested, some were arrested and several churches destroyed. Related: Chinese Officials Tear Down More Christian Crosses, Beat Protesters: Breitbart It is uncertain how widespread this recent edict is, but Amnesty International reported receiving news on this prohibition from around the country. In Hunan province, politicians stated they will be investigating both government-run churches (both Catholic and protestant) and the underground churches to make sure they are not …

China’s insidious attack on the underground Church

The Chinese government has recently instituted an insidious attack on Christians in that country after distributing a survey to all teachers and parents. The communist party who has ruled China for decades is trying to crack down on the rapidly growing Christian population. The changes are being instituted by President Xi Jinping. Described as a fanatical Maoist, he is trying to consolidate the communist party’s control of China. In an interview with the Christian Post, Bob Fu who heads Christian Aid believes the real concern is that there are now more Christians in China than members of the communist party. There are two types of Christian churches in China. One group is controlled by the state through its State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). These legal churches are required to register with one of three organizations such  as the Three-self Patriotic Movement. There are about 57,000 government-sanctioned churches (both Catholic and Protestant). The second group is the larger unregistered house church movement. It is difficult to nail down how many Christians China has due largely …

Guarding Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China Photo: Stephan Rebernik/Flickr/Creative Commons

China: When church and governments collide

In 2014, speaking at a religious forum in Shanghai, Wang Zuoan a senior bureaucrat with China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs told of the government’s plans to “nationalize” Christianity in that country. Though Zuoan didn’t couch it in exactly those terms he spoke of Christian theology adapting to Chinese conditions and culture. There was no doubt in the minds of Chinese Christians that this meant the communist party was planning to take over Christianity and use it to promote its platform. Since that announcement, the Chinese government has moved forward on its plan, that included the removal of crosses from Churches. To date citing building code violations over 1,200 crosses have been removed and in some instances churches destroyed. The government even sent a number of Christians to jail for opposing the cross removals including Pastor Huang Yizi, from the eastern province of Zhejiang. The government also recently sentenced Pastor Bao Guohua and his wife Xing Wenxiang to 14 years in prison for leading opposition to crosses being removed. The government also falsely accused them …

Looking into North Korea from on the bridge in Tumen City China. Photo: Wikipedia/Prince Roy

Teenage boy told to ‘look for a cross’ to escape the North Korean gulag

An article in the English newspaper, The Guardian, tells the story of a young man, Joseph Kim, 25, who escaped from North Korea because of the help of the church in  China. As a young man living in communist North Korea, he had never heard of the church or Christianity. His religion was believing in the mystical powers of North Korea’s deluded supreme leader, Kim Il-sung. But growing up in North Korea, all Kim knew was poverty and famine and when as a boy he plotted to escape the gulag that had imprisoned his mother and resulted in the death of his father, he was told by a friend that if he ever got to China the church would assist him and even give him money. Kim had no idea what his friend was talking about. It was the first time he had heard of Christ or the church. When Kim asked why they would help, the friend said, “because they’re Christians.” In 2006, at the age of 16, Kim decided to escape North Korea. …

Chinese government releases wife of Canadian pastors arrested in August 2014 for espionage

The Chinese government has just announced the release of Julia Garratt from custody. She and her husband Kevin Garratt were arrested by Chinese authorities on August 4, 2014 and charged with espionage. I discussed this in detail in an earlier post. People who knew the Garratts were dumbfounded by the accusation. Most believe it was no coincidence the Chinese government arrested the Garratts days after the Canadian government accused the Chinese of hacking into a government agency — the National Research Council of Canada — to steal vital economic and technological data.

Chinese government accuses Canadian Pentecostal pastors of espionage

PRAYER REQUEST: Kevin, 54, and Julia, 53, Garratt are Canadians Christians ministering in China. Originally from Mississauga, Ontario, they have been in China since 1984, when they went there to teach English. The Garratts live in Dandong, on the border with North Korea. They moved to Dandong in 2008, after working in a number of Chinese cities and a brief time back in Canada. They serve as Pentecostal pastors and hold weekly church services each Sunday in their home. They also started a popular coffee shop in the city, located near the Friendship Bridge, a major crossing over the Yula River that marks the border of China and North Korea. On Monday, August 4, 2014, they were going out for supper with another couple whose daughter was going to Canada to study. The Garratts have four children, three are in Canada, and Peter who lives in Dandong. The Garratts had invited Peter to join them, but he had a previous commitment. The last thing he heard from his parents was a text his dad sent …

Is China’s ‘underground church’ making Jesus more popular than Mao on Twitter?

Well it is not exactly Twitter, it’s Weibo which is the Chinese-sanctioned version of Twitter. According to an analysis of activity on Weibo, by Tea Leaf Nation, Jesus is tweeted more times than Mao Zedong the founder of Chinese communism and famous for his “Little Red Book” of quotes, ready-made for Weibo. It appears Chinese censors (estimated at 100,000) are now allowing more religious tweets on Weibo. In the past, censors deleted religious tweets.