I have previously written about not being fooled by the Chinese during the Olympics. I am not concerned with the deception during the opening ceremonies of who was singing or the computerized footprints; I am talking about what the Chinese government is doing to Christians. Read this report and pray for the true church in China. I believe it to be the fastest growing part of the body of Christ. Don't be fooled by the smiles and the cute pandas.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Churches ordered closed during Olympics
Pastors forced to sign agreements not to meet for 90 days
An organization founded by a man who escaped from China after being persecuted for his Christian faith says it has uncovered a secret Chinese government document demanding that churches shut their doors for 90 days around the Beijing Olympics.
"Should church members violate these rules they will be subject to the disciplinary actions of the Chinese government," said the report from China Aid Association, an organization dedicated to helping persecuted Christians.
"Pastors were forced to sign a written agreement that they would not participate in religious services while the Olympic Games are taking place in China," the organization said.
China Aid said the document, drafted by Chinese government officials, specifies that the house churches in China "refrain from organizing and joining illegal gatherings and refrain from receiving donations, sermons and preaching from overseas religious organizations and groups that have a purpose."
The group asserted the discovery of the document "provides further evidence of the PRC's hypocrisy towards creating a 'harmonious society' marked by religious freedom and rule of law."
"The fact the document was issued while the world's focus is on China is a blatant challenge to the international community and an apathetic stance toward seeking to correct human rights violations," China Aid said.
The organization said the Chinese document that pastors were required to sign, translated into English, says:
• We will abide by the relevant provisions in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and Regulations on Religious Affairs and persevere in patriotism and love for one's religion.
• We will observe the relevant codes of conduct and the law and refrain from doing anything that endangers the society. We will also refrain from organizing and joining illegal gatherings and refrain from receiving donations, sermons and preaching from overseas religious organizations and groups that have a purpose.
• During the Olympic Games, activities at the gathering sites will be shut down for three months (July 15-October 15)
• Should we violate the above rules, we will let the relevant agencies handle the case according to law.
Wish Upon a Star
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