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Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China


Prayer Diary: China

17 May 2024

Years may have passed, but we have not forgotten Pastor Zhang Shaojie. This summer marks ten years since the pastor was unjustly sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was charged with ‘fraud’ and ‘gathering a crowd to disturb public order’, but was clearly targeted for his church leadership role.

Pastor Zhang’s physical and mental health has suffered in detention, with reports of meagre food rations and sleep deprivation. Yet, despite this, in a letter to his family in 2021, he revealed that he felt peaceful.

Sunday 19 May

You may recognise Pastor Zhang Shaojie from our Connect & Encourage booklet. Consider writing a card or letter of encouragement to Pastor Zhang as you pray for his physical and mental health, and spiritual endurance.

Monday 20 May

In recent years, a number of Christian schools and home education institutions have been the targets of the government’s crackdown on religious education. Some Christian teachers and heads of institutions have been arrested, and many church schools are subjected to evictions and harassment. Thank God for their incredible courage and pray for an end to the crackdown.

Tuesday 21 May

Two weeks from today will mark the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Take a moment to remember the victims, and the pain and suffering of their families and friends. Pray for those who have paid a heavy price for refusing to forget the truth, and who continue to stand for justice.

Wednesday 22 May

China has begun a propaganda campaign to rebrand the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) as a tourist hotspot. But the evidence is overwhelming: atrocities have been committed against religious and ethnic minorities in the region – including Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities – which may amount to crimes against humanity. Pray that the international community takes a stand and holds China to account.

Thursday 23 May

There has been a growing number of incidents where people who report ‘illegal religious activities’ to the authorities receive cash ‘prizes’ of up to 10,000 yuan (roughly £1,100). Ask God to change the hearts of those seeking to report others for personal gain.

Friday 24 May

Today is the Catholic World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. Pray especially for Catholic clergy who have been detained and forced to undergo ‘patriotic education’. Some remain missing after being repeatedly arrested and detained for decades, including Bishop James Su Zhimin.

Saturday 25 May

Bishop Su Zhimin has only been seen once since being recaptured in 1997 after reportedly escaping from custody. He is 91 years old. Pray Psalm 71:3 over him and all Christians who have been deprived of their liberty: ‘Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.’

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