News from the Church in China
Oct 20, 2006
This report was sent to me recently, and I thought I would pass it on to you. For those of you who are unaware of the Church in China, there are probably more Christians in China than in any other country in the world. They number well over 100 million. And because it is dangerous to be a Christian in China, there are no cultural Christians there.
"One of the most prominent leaders of China’s underground house-church movement, Zhang Rongliang, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after being charged with “illegal border crossing” and other “crimes.” “Brother Z” has already spent 12 years in prison since he was secretly baptized in 1969. He was often tortured during those years. He will spend his 56th birthday in a prison cell.
"His first bout in prison came because of his refusal to deny his faith or betray his colleagues. He landed in a labor camp for seven years, but his faith thrived there. He was put in charge of a work team and given unusual freedom to move round the camp’s outskirts. As a result, he planted churches among the rural villagers. Upon his release in 1980, he founded the Chinese for Christ movement—a vast network of churches that grew to an estimated 10 million by 2001.
"Much of this growth has been linked to miracles. In 1993, about 15,000 people were added to the church when news spread that a local government official was paralyzed for several hours after he tried to stop Zhang and his team from conducting an evangelistic crusade in a sports arena.
“The man pointed to us and told his deputies to arrest us,” Zhang said. “But after that, he could not move and his deputies had to take him to his car even while his arm was still pointing.”
Besides being imprisoned, Zhang suffers from diabetes and his wife is requesting intercession from God’s people."