China church demolitionThis is what holy boldness and righteous indignation look like. Forty-year-old Huang Yizi of China’s Zhejiang province knew he could face retaliation from the Chinese government for taking a stand last year for opposing the government’s demolition and damaging of church buildings that affected 400 buildings, but he took a stand anyway. It landed him in a jail in China in August of last year.

His case came before a kangaroo court this week that found him guilty of “gathering crowds to disturb social order.” Or should that be “socialist order”? They sentenced him to serve 1 year in jail in spite of the fact that the government, after international pressure, had ordered an end to the program that targeted churches. Huang and his lawyer, Zhang Kai, have seen strong indications that the whole trial was fixed. Nevertheless, Huang has expressed praises to God for being chosen to suffer for a worthy cause even though it keeps him away from his wife and son.

About 1,000 people who supported him for his stand showed up to the court building. Huang plans to appeal the decision. He is only one of many believers in China who are persecuted for worshiping the true and living God through the Lord Jesus. And as China continues its persecution, the life of Huang and others like him only serve to shine a greater light on the gospel, drawing more and more lost souls to Christ as his church grows by leaps and bounds in China.

Huang’s case is really not about defending church buildings, per se, but it’s greater, deeper importance is the freedom of religion and the God-given right to assemble with other believers wherever they agree to meet. I pray that God will bless Mr. Huang, his family, his lawyer, and all other believers in China for their strength to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, that the mighty name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit will continue to spread like wildfire.

Source: Tom Phillips, China jails Christian pastor who fought church demolitions, Telegraph.co.uk, March 25, 2015.

Harry A. Gaylord

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