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09/06/2022 Thailand (International Christian Concern) – The world is watching the ongoing crisis of the entire church congregation who left China due to religious persecution to seek asylum in South Korea. Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, which is comprised of nearly 60 members, traveled to Thailand last week to seek protection from religious persecution with the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.  

The congregation left China between late 2019 and early 2020, settling in South Korea. However, when they did not receive refugee status in South Korea, they began to seek resettlement in the United States as another option.  

Yesterday, they submitted their UNHCR applications in Bangkok. They left South Korea last week and traveled to Thailand on 15-day tourist visas, hoping that their applications could be processed unprecedentedly quickly. If their visas run out, they could be deported back to China.

The church’s pastor, Pan Yongguang, emphasized the gravity of their plight. “This is dangerous, but it is an opportunity,” he said. “If we stayed in Jeju, we would have had no chance.” 

ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, Gina Goh, who is currently with the congregation in Bangkok assisting with logistics, witnessed the submission of their UNHCR applications on Monday, September 5. 

“Please continue to pray for the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church, as they are constantly under surveillance here in Bangkok by the Chinese operatives. Given that it could take a while for the process to be completed, their safety is a grave concern,” she said. 

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