Christian leaders in the underground house church in China have recently shared that this is now one of the most challenging times “in the history of the church.”
“China’s control over the population is more extreme and the monitoring is constant,” according to one pastor who spoke with BTJ on condition of anonymity. “The church has been forced back into the 70s and 80s,” he said, even stating that pastors have to hide in the trunks of cars in order to get into different villages in China. This is a method that was commonly used to transport ministers in the 1980s and 1990s. “It [pastors traveling in the trunk of a car] has become so common that it is being called the ‘prayer closet.'”
In the recent months of Covid restrictions in China, there has been a limit to the number of people allowed to meet together. The underground church has had to adapt. The maximum number of people gathering cannot be more than 20 people in urban areas and 10 people in rural areas. This government imposed limitation was the very thing that catapulted the underground church in China 20-30 years ago. With over 100 million Christians inside China, there would easily be more than 5 million meeting locations nationwide – at least.
In the midst of persecution, China is experiencing at least 5 million secret church services every week!
The biggest prayer request coming from the pastors inside of China is to pray for new leaders and shepherds. With the decentralization of meetings, the demand for leaders is extremely high.