Police officers keep an eye on a church in Beijing, China. (AP)

Police officers keep an eye on a church in Beijing, China. (AP)

From right, Ren Dejun, Liao Qiang, Peng Ran, and Ren Ruiting follow a hymnbook during worship at a church in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)

From right, Ren Dejun, Liao Qiang, Peng Ran, and Ren Ruiting follow a hymnbook during worship at a church in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)

A government worker uses a torch to cut a cross from atop a church in eastern China. (AP)

A government worker uses a torch to cut a cross from atop a church in eastern China. (AP)

Ren Ruiting, daughter of Liao Qiang, cries as she speaks during an interview with a reporter at a church in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)

Ren Ruiting, daughter of Liao Qiang, cries as she speaks during an interview with a reporter at a church in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)

Liao Qiang talks about living under the constant watch of Chinese authorities before arriving in Taiwan. (AP)

Liao Qiang talks about living under the constant watch of Chinese authorities before arriving in Taiwan. (AP)

Crackdown on Worship

Posted: September 3, 2019

It had been a long time since Liao Qiang had gotten to worship in church. Several months ago, his church in China was closed. Over 100 church members were arrested. Some are still in jail. When the government cracked down on their church, Mr. Liao and his family fled China. They arrived in Taiwan a few months ago. One Sunday in July, they went to church there for the first time. These Christians were free to worship again!

Mr. Liao and his 23-year-old daughter, Ren Ruiting, know what it’s like to be watched. In China, government eyes were on them all the time. That’s because they were members of an illegal church. Before she fled the country, police followed Ms. Ren everywhere. She was forced to use social media to inform the police of her whereabouts. If she didn’t obey, she was in danger. “That’s when I knew it was no longer safe for us here,” Mr. Liao said. Police told him to sign a statement giving up his church. He refused. Mr. Liao and his daughter say their pastor is still in jail.

A Communist Party rules China. Its leaders are atheists. (Atheists do not believe in God.) Under this government, Christians are punished—and they aren’t the only ones. People practicing other religions in China get hurt too.

Mr. Liao  and his family fled from China to nearby Taiwan. They want asylum in the United States. Asylum is protection for people who are persecuted in their country. “One day when China opens up, we’ll go back,” says Ms. Ren. “Whether it’s five years, or even 10 years, we’ll eventually make our way back to where God wants us to serve.”

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 5:10