ICC Note: The following is an excerpt from an announcement published by the Beijing Shouwang Church after their Sunday service last week. It mentions the temporary arrest of several members and sends a message of encouragement to the members, who have been meeting outdoors for a year since their church was closed down by authorities.
04/10/2012 China (ChinaAid) –
Dear brothers and sisters:
Peace in the Lord! On this past Sunday, we held the fifteenth outdoor worship service of this year. It was a sunny day, and believers continued to worship our Lord Jesus Christ who has resurrected with faith and hope.
As far as we know, on Sunday morning, at least twenty believers were taken away from locations near the platform for attending the outdoor service. Five believers were released on the way, and the other fifteen believers were sent to five local police stations. Till 20:00 pm on Sunday, thirteen believers were released home. And the last two believers detained at Guangying Police Station were released around 21:00 pm.
Today is the first anniversary of the outdoor worship service which started on April 10 last year. This past Sunday was very special; it was both the Easter Sunday of 2012 and the first anniversary of the outdoor service. Looking back, we are amazed by God’s work among us in this past year, through which he manifests to us that he is the head of the church in this generation, and that he is the Lord of the universe. God grants us sufficient grace when we confront difficulties; his power of resurrection enables us to stand firm and to experience peace in facing all kinds of battle and pressure, and to further witness the resurrection of Jesus Christ in all sorts of ways to make the world see God’s presence among us. For each of us, we have experienced trials that reveal who we are in this past year. But we experienced God’s glory in trials, experienced Christ’s victory in our weakness, produced character and hope in endurance, and experienced the joy from the Holy Spirit in faith. Now we continue to plead to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, that he will continue to sustain his church with the power that raises Christ from the dead, to grant us strength, and to guide us as we are filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, so that we will continue this journey in unity. “To him who is seated on the high seat, and to the Lamb, may blessing and honor and glory and power be given for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:13)
May peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy and love of Father God, and the console and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, be with each brother and sister of Shouwang Church and all the churches who remember Shouwang Church in prayers, from this time on and forevermore! Amen.
Beijing Shouwang Church