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Dee Farrell

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    America and China: Is God Essential?

    Here in America many ministries have actually increased their influence during the quarantine through the internet. China appears to be afraid of the same thing happening in their country.

    They shut down Zoom services for Easter and went as far as turning off electricity to church members' homes. The Chinese government requires all churches to register with a bureau that has ties to the police. The church that was shut down did not register and suffers persecution because of their choice.

    There are many underground churches who have not registered. The question is why not register and just go along with the law and those in authority? The reason pastors and members give is control.  Many fear the government's involvement.

    For example, registered churches are required to support socialism. A government document states,  "Chinese religious groups must conduct religious activities in the Chinese context, practice core socialist values, carry forward the fine traditions of the Chinese nation, and actively explore religious thought which conforms to the reality in China."  The government views Christians of any denomination freely practicing Christianity as a threat  and even registered churches have suffered persecution.

    Jean Woo of the National Council of Churches in China said regulation does not pertain to worship, only evangelism. But, that hasn't proven true if the worship is seen as harmful to the government cause.

     Founder of China Aid Pastor Bob Fu recently testified before the US House Foreign Affairs' subcommittee. He said worship songs must be rewritten to reflect socialism and a few patriotic Communist songs must be sung before any others during the service. For registered churches, loyalty must be given to the Communist party first then God, at least the Chinese version of God.

    You see, the Chinese government approves only their version of the Bible translated to conform to a Chinese Christianity. They do not use the original Greek. The path they are using to achieve a "Chinese Christianity" is to incorporate Confucianism and socialism into the Bible text.  Normal Bibles have disappeared from online stores and elsewhere.   

    Here in America some Christians are criticizing US pastors who took their stand for religious freedom. I have no idea if they've heard from God, but I know that God called me to homeschool in a state that jailed a few parents for doing so even though the US Constitution allowed it. Because of those parents who bravely tested the law, (I do not include myself in this because I had nothing to do with it) Michigan became one of the best states for parents to homeschool.

    It was a miracle. Homeschooling is now a choice for every parent in the nation, and you can thank the homeschooling pioneers, now forgotten, who helped make it ordinary to modern life.

    The pastors testing their state's response to Covid may be doing that work  for the body of believers and ensuring America will never be China... yet. God is still essential here.

    Photo by Thom Masat on Unsplash

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