SPY! China’s New Law Targets Foreign Missionaries with Charges of Espionage

Two new laws took effect this month in China that will completely change the way missionaries conduct ‘business as mission’ and could even get them thrown into prison as spies.

Missionaries to China cannot openly apply for ‘missionary visas’ to China, so many go in as language teachers, humanitarian workers, or for business. Missionaries focusing on the latter will find the new laws just implemented this month will change everything.

The two new laws are the new Espionage Law and Foreign Relations Law.

The new Espionage Law is extremely dangerous for foreign missionaries, because it is defined to include “helping an espionage organization” and “attempts to illegally obtain data related to national security.”

The new Foreign Relations Law says that foreign organizations in China “must not endanger China’s national security, harm the societal public interest, or undermine societal public order.”

What does this mean?

Basically, these laws are so loosely defined so that they can mean whatever China want them to mean in order to charge missionaries as spies.

This kind of law has been commonly used in China to imprison pastors, and now it is being implemented to include foreign missionaries as well. Take the case of Pastor Alimjan Yimit for instance in Xinjiang, the western province of China.

Pastor Alimjan was just released this year after 15 years in prison for instigating separatism, stealing state secrets to overseas organizations and individuals, and disrupting social order.

Pastor Alimjan had zero access to state secrets; he was an underground house church leader and his religious activities were against the law. He worked with overseas churches and shared with them information about evangelism. The Chinese government used this as the basis to charge him with “selling state secrets to a foreign organization.” His Christian evangelism in an Islamic dominated area was separatist activity, because preaching the Gospel upsets the social order.

Pastor Alimjan ran a food company in Xinjiang, so China zeroed in on his business to charge him with many of the false crimes they levied against him.

Pastor Alimjan’s case directly relates to the two new laws concerning foreigners in China. Missionaries should be aware.


Dr. Eugene Bach is a known trouble-maker with an active imagination and sinful past. He has a PhD, but is not a real doctor, so please do not call for him during a medical emergency on an airplane when someone is having a heart attack. Eugene started working for Back to Jerusalem in the year 2000 after a backroom deal involving Chinese spies, the NRA, Swiss bankers, and a small group of Apostolic Christians that only baptize in Jesus’ name. He spends most of his time in closed countries attempting to topple governments by proclaiming the name of Jesus and not taking showers. From time-to-time he pretends to be a writer. He is not good at it, but everyone around him tries to humor him.

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