Prayer Diary China

30 Jul 2017

In 2015 the Chinese government began a mass crackdown of arrests and harassment of human rights defenders. Since then, hundreds of lawyers and their family members and colleagues have been detained or ‘disappeared’, just because of their work defending human rights including religious freedom. 

  • Sunday 30 July

Today, let’s praise God for the unexpected release of Li Heping, a Christian human rights lawyer who was detained in 2015 during the government’s initial crackdown. It was so amazing to see him released following a suspended sentence in May 2017: our God sets captives free! 

  • Monday 31 July 

Li has been returned to his family: his wife, Wang Qiaoling, son, and young daughter Jiamei. They haven’t seen him for two years. Their reunion is good news, but the family is still under surveillance. Ask God to give them courage and wisdom. 

  • Tuesday 1 August 

Li is just one of hundreds of human rights defenders who have been detained, disappeared or harassed by the government since July 2015: several remain in prison, and many more are on bail or under house arrest. Please pray for endurance and strength for those who are still being held. 

  • Wednesday 2 August 

Living Stone Church has chosen not to register with the official organisation for Protestant churches. The government is trying to force them to close, and their pastor, Pastor Yang Hua, was detained in 2015. These are tactics which seem to be designed to try to cripple the entire congregation. Pray for God to protect Living Stone Church and give them courage in the face of official intimidation today. 

  • Thursday 3 August 

Because of the ill health Pastor Yang is suffering in prison (his legs were severely inflamed and he was ‘on the verge of paralysis’) he’s been moved to the medical wing of the prison, where conditions are a little better. Praise God that this seems to have helped his legs heal somewhat, and he’s regained some mobility. 

  • Friday 4 August 

In Xinjiang Province, Uyghur Muslims have been the target of arrests and restrictive laws. Thirty-nine people were arrested after attending lectures by ‘unsanctioned’ imams; names perceived to be linked to extremism, such as ‘Saddam’, have been banned; and on 1 April 2017, Xinjiang authorities imposed new rules prohibiting the wearing of ‘abnormal’ beards or veils in public places. Pray that these extreme restrictions would be lifted and the 39 prisoners released. 

  • Saturday 5 August 

Loving heavenly Father, today we pray for China. Thank you for the release of Li Heping in May. We pray that his family would be able to live in peace and safety and not face further harassment. We also pray that you would watch over all those in China who face similar harassment for their work defending the rights of others. Amen.

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