BACKFIRE! China’s Attack of Online Fellowships Has Led to the Explosion of Old Fashioned House Churches

June has been a month of online slaughter for digital Christian fellowships in China. For the last few weeks, China has launched a systematic attack on Christian fellowships in the name of “public health.”

When Official registered fellowships were systematically shut down and forced to go online due to Covid-19, China launched an assault to go after online fellowships, but Chinese pastors working together with BTJ have refused to stop meeting. Instead, they are doing it the old fashioned way – by meeting in homes and going door-to-door.

“A lot of people have been doing their own small fellowships in their own homes,” one of the BTJ pastors said during our face-to-face meeting earlier this year. “This has been a time where the church has had to rely on local leaders, not foreigners, not youtube, not mp3 recorded sermons. It has been a time of personal study in the Word.”


China has been using personal electronics to monitor believers, so Christian leaders have told their fellowships to leave their mobile devices at home.  The underground house church has gone back to its original modus operandi – they are not meeting in religious sanctioned buildings and they are not using mobile phones, computers, or modern technology. They are going back to the method that worked for the early apostles in the book of Acts and the method that has worked for two thousand years: small groups in homes.

In 2021, the number of evangelists supported by BTJ increased significantly as churches activated believers in their cities to hand out Covid supplies to pedestrians, along with Gospel tracks.

“Our church was able to hand out masks and Gospel tracks together. In the first half of 2020, it was not easy to get masks in many cities in China even though it was a requirement for everyone to wear. Our evangelists were warmly welcomed when they were able to hand out these much needed supplies.”

Below is a picture of an evangelists home before they headed out to hand out tracks and masks.

Evangelism efforts on the street have led to growing churches, but that has not been the primary reason for more workers. The number one factor that has increased the need for more workers is the new way that believers are meeting – in homes. Smaller fellowships means that there is a need for more leaders.

The coronavirus has not been able to claim victory over the church in China.

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