I travelled into China last year, solely to be with and help the underground "house church." This edict by the central government is simply and extension of their terrorist strategy to annihilate the Spirit led Church; the true Church.....which in reality, they are terrified of. They studied history, and understood who unseated mighty Rome.
This is the Church that has been attacked since 1950...and has been decimated outwardly, but has exploded in secret. This is the Church that has always been outlawed, and have never had public meetings. This is the Church where their ideology is to break the leader's spirits, where intimidation threatens you with homelessness, for you and your children...where you are guaranteed to lose your job, and social attainment...if caught worshipping outside government sanctions.
I witnessed a church where most of the men....not all...had fled or were arrested. I saw a Church where Sisters had to take up the slack...and they were broken and barely hanging on...with Christ Jesus being their all from necessity. He was literally their all.
This body met in secret every time they met. They always had guards, and watches, and communicated with cell phones to meet, or disperse. They were hunted, and knew it. They melded into daily life as citizens, and risked all to Worship with the true Church. They sought me out, not the other way around, and I never knew when or where I would be invited. They were weak, and seemed to despair some, but their main request to me from the west was for prayer. I felt helpless, but gave them what I could with what reality of Jesus that ran through me.
You cannot send them money. They know that the government has traced these efforts to capture them. I have met a false "Underground Church in China also. They are affluent and Word Faith type people, who do get cash from the west. They are mostly in the "ECONOMIC ZONES", where a US style free market society exists. These cities and areas are more modern than Detroit, bustling with new cars , restaurants and all of the amenities and corruption that you would see in MIAMI. Bibles are readily available in many stores here.
The Chicoms abide their time. Christianity here is not a threat to them. It is but a powerless form, as it is in most of America. THERE IS A FALSE UNDERGROUND CHURCH! They are really not underground, but they are tolerated. These are often supported by the west, for it sells well, this persecuted Church idea. They profit, and live well. If you know of a ministry that advertises that they give to the underground Church, chances are that they certainly do not. As I have said, the transfer of money is dangerous, and is heavily infiltrated by the Government.
90% of China is not free for the citizen, and is very poor. Here you need a passport to travel from one city to another. You are not allowed in the Economic Zones. It is here that most of the true Church dwells.
To me, this publicity from the Chinese leaders is a good sign. They are worried, for as Rome, the more they persecuted her, the more she flourished and lived. I love my family in China. I think they understand brotherhood much more than we can conceive. They care for one another, and this is rooted in Godly empathy as they too suffer. If you can find them, they will love you.
This may be hard to believe, but one day we may be in the same boat. We will need prayer too. PRAY FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH IM CHINA.