China: Congregants attacked with stones during baptismal service

Monday, September 26, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Members of China’s Trinity Harvest Gospel Church in Shenzhen were attacked with stones as they held a baptismal service on a beach earlier this month, China Aid reports.

Shenzhen Trinity Harvest Gospel Church was established five years ago and is led by Pastor Mao Zhibin, China Aid said. The church has since had to manage harassment from the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which views Christianity and independent churches as a threat to its authority and power.

The church had tried to keep this year’s baptismal service on September 10 secret, as last year’s service was disrupted by the authorities, China Aid reports. However, upon arriving at the beach, the congregation was required to enter the COVID-19 health codes before entering, which appears to have let the government know their whereabouts.

As the baptismal service and celebratory fellowship got underway, around 20 people showed up and began to press Pastor Zhibin to stop “performing religious activities” on the beach, China Aid said. According to reports, the beach supervisor then instructed the bystanders to throw stones at the congregants, who could have been seriously injured.

In a Facebook post about the incident, Pastor Zhibin thanked God for the baptisms and praised the steadfastness of the congregation in light of the attack.

“Our Trinity Harvest Gospel Church baptized believers on the beach, but we were attacked by stones,” Zhibin wrote.

“Thanks to God’s protection and grace, we were able to baptize 2 Brothers and 2 Sisters. I’m deeply moved that the four believers were so brave. Although they were faced with threats and stones, they finished the baptism with faith. This reminded me of Jesus’s words: ‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32).’”

China ranks 17th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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